Now to the science and fun part. EteRNA is a project created by biology researchers at Stanford for the purpose of creating synthetic RNA molecules to use in micromachines. Now, you're probably wondering how a research institution would go about convincing random people to help them build synthetic RNA molecules. The answer: make it a game.
EteRNA is an online game that makes building RNA fun. The game is actually very simple. The RNA starts as a long chain of adenine proteins, which are represented by yellow circles. The game then gives you a shape, and the goal is to fold the molecule into that shape by mutating each protein into adenine (yellow), cytosine (green), guanine (red), and uracil (blue). Different proteins bond with each other, and each bond has a different strength (Cytosine plus Guanine is the strongest, and Uracil plus Guanine is the weakest). Molecules usually form into stacks and loops, which are long chains of bonded proteins and large circles of unbonded proteins respectively. The game is scored by the real-life efficiency of the molecule, and each bond (depending on type) uses a number of kilocalories (kcal), and each loop creates some. The goal is to have a higher number of excess energy, making the molecule as efficient as possible. A negative score means the molecule would fold properly, but would not function because it consumes more energy than it produces.