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World Food Day, 16 October 2017

Foldit event on World Food Day to crowdsource solutions to eradicate aflatoxin

United States of America - 16/10/2017

An innovative food safety initiative will kick off in San Francisco on 16 October to crowdsource solutions to solve aflatoxin, a little known but dangerous foodborne toxin that can cause liver cancer and stunting. To mark World Food Day, gamers will convene at an event in San Francisco to start the search for a solution to the toxin using Foldit, a free online game that allows players to explore how amino acids are folded together to create proteins. Foldit provides a starting enzyme that has the potential to degrade aflatoxin. Gamers from around the world will then battle it out to redesign and improve the enzyme so that it can neutralize aflatoxin. This activity is built on an uncommon collaboration of diverse partners including Mars, Incorporated, Thermo Fisher Scientific, the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), the University of California, Davis, the University of Washington, and Northeastern University. 4.5 billion people in developing countries are chronically exposed to aflatoxin through their diet. Mars and its partners hope that this initiative will kick off the process to say ‘game over’ to this serious threat to food security.

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