Foldit, an online protein folding game, was created to challenge the gamers to produce the most accurate models of proteins.
However, the discovery that caught the attention of the public was the gamers' accomplishment in unlocking the structure of the M-PMV retroviral protease, the enzymes that the HIV virus uses to multiply and grow into AIDS. What took the researchers a decade worth of solving to no avail finally show glimpses of the final structure with the aid of the gamers.
Personally I don't think scientists are stupid, just that we are stuck in too much of background knowledge constraints that sometimes we just don't see the big picture.
Those with some biology knowledge can read the paper HERE
Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players
by: Firas Khatib, Frank DiMaio, Seth Cooper, Maciej Kazmierczyk, Miroslaw Gilski, Szymon Krzywda, Helena Zabranska, Iva Pichova, James Thompson, Zoran Popović, Mariusz Jaskolski, David Baker
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Vol. advance online publication (18 September 2011) doi:10.1038/nsmb.2119
The already closed HIV protease puzzle, showing the many gamers making into the hall of fame. http://fold.it/portal/node/988310
Can you solve the puzzle by folding this