In March, we turned your attention to a game called Foldit, developed by researchers at the University of Washington, that has players fold protein chains to create new structures with changed functions in order to help with the development of treatments for diseases like HIV, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even COVID-19. It’s important work, but not exactly glamorous: The Foldit website looks like an appendix to an obscure, complex scholarly article I may have pretended to have read back when I was still trying to impress my bosses.

It’s kind of hard to believe, but now Borderlands 3—a fun shooter but, with all due respect, not exactly the most intellectually weighty endeavor of all time—is doing something similar. Borderlands Science, announced today with a flashy trailer featuring Dr. Mayim Bialik, the Emmy-nominated co-star of Big Bang Theory who is also actually holds a doctorate in neuroscience, is a minigame in Borderlands 3 in which players solve colored block puzzes based on DNA strands in order to help scientists compare and map microbes—a job that computers are apparently not very good at.

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