Image of the Day: Design Challenge

An online video game helps researchers create strategies for creating RNA.

Chia-Yi Hou
Jul 9, 2019
Various versions of an RNA that a video game player has changed in sequence to match a particular structure

Video gamers are helping researchers discover methods to design RNA structures. The authors of a study published in PLOS Computational Biology on June 27 analyzed 1.8 million moves by players in a RNA design game. The players are given a target RNA structure and asked to change the RNA sequence to try to match the target. The developers of the game report that approaches based on those choices can be used to create algorithms for a computer to construct RNA.

R.V. Koodli et al., “EternaBrain: Automated RNA design through move sets and strategies from an Internet-scale RNA videogame,” PLOS Comput Biol, doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007059, 2019.

Chia-Yi Hou is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at