Just over two months ago, Borderlands Science made its debut as an in-game way to solve real-world problems. Now, this research project baked into Borderlands 3 has received an update from researchers associated with the project and it's undeniably been a phenomenal success.
If you're not up to speed, Borderlands Science is, on its face, a simple puzzle game that people can play with Borderlands 3 for a change of pace. There's more to this game than meets the eye, though — players solving puzzles are helping organize DNA data.
The purpose of this program is to help out with all kinds of research and it looks like it's gotten the job done. In fact, Borderlands 3 players have done five times the work that the researchers were able to complete in ten years.
An update on DNA Puzzles has some more details. According to the researchers, what players have done thus far is "far more" data than they had expected to see so early into the life of this project. Early results are promising; researchers are seeing solutions that "significantly" improve the DNA mapping solutions generated by their computer algorithm.
Solving these puzzles is certainly helpful, but the process of solving these puzzles may be even more valuable. The best solutions found thus far have had noticeable improvements that could not be accomplished with traditional techniques. These may give insights on new ways to improve automated DNA mapping.
What's in Store for Borderlands Science?
With so much data already done, are we seeing the end of Borderlands Science? No, not at all.
The data that has been gathered thus far isn't only being used for its intended research. The researchers are going to use the new data they've gathered to generate a new set of puzzles that will likely improve DNA mapping techniques even further. From there, I imagine they'll keep working on improvements for as long as they decide to keep this project going.
You can still contribute to this project by picking up Borderlands 3 for 50% off at the Epic Games Store at the price of $29.99 or your regional equivalent. Alternatively, you can buy it on Steam instead at its regular price.
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Have you had a chance to play Borderlands Science? What do you think of the impact gamers have had on DNA research? Let us know in the comments below!