Help finding the Vaccine Formula for Corona Virus.

Humans are better at identifying patterns than machines. Solve the puzzle below to help the computer program to improve its accuracy at Vaccine prediction.

play the puzzlehow it works

how can this help scientists?

We are looking for a small sequence - 16 letters - called an epitope, among 500,000 letters.
The formula we’re looking for is only a small part of the virus. When injected in our bodies as a vaccine, it causes an immune response without causing an illness.

For a computer, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
But humans can spot a pattern in seconds.

play the puzzle

Viruses are made of protein sequences, each protein sequence is formed by 50-100 amino-acids. Each amino acid is like an individual bead, strung together, they form a protein just like in jewellery individual beads form a necklace.

When a virus infects us, our immune system releases defence cells. These cells scan organisms in our bloodstream looking for a specific part called an epitope. An epitope is like a barcode identifying if the organism belongs to the body or if it is an intruder.

To teach our bodies to recognise specific epitopes as belonging to a virus, we need to find a formula for that epitope, create it in the laboratory and then inject it into our bodies as a vaccine. Our defence cells can then scan this epitope’s “barcode”, recognise it is an intruder and prepare the defence system for a fight in case a real virus enters our bodies.

The challenge: Coronavirus COVID-19.

There are 500,000 amino acids.
Millions of possibilities.
We need millions of people to help.

play the puzzle