Stanford University biochemistry professor Rhiju Das is credited for a revolutionary finding where he states that online video games can help to successfully combat scientific frauds. Rhiju along with Carnegie Mellon University’s Adrien Treuille have developed an online lab named “EteRNA” where they have taken 150,000 participants (non-professional investigators) to develop hypotheses and evaluate experimental results.
Rhiju Das and the researchers of the Carnegie Mellon University believes one great way to fight against fraud in life sciences research is through the creation of large online labs where video games will be used by the common man and no scientists to investigate various hypotheses developed by the scientists. Thus, no manual testing of hypotheses will be allowed in such online laboratories.
Adrien Treuille and Rhiju Das strongly argue that online games are more scientifically arduous than the standard parameters to design, develop and test hypothesis. Both the professors believe through the creation of such labs, scientific research will be greatly benefited. EteRNA is RNA (Ribonucleic Acid)-design project that presents a whole new model to prevent any future occurrences of scientific fraud.
Each of the 150,000 participants was allowed to use computer design tools to recommend RNA designs meeting certain criteria. The designs are created in the Stanford lab and then the results were sent to all the participants of EteRNA for analysis and implementation to tackle various future design challenges. As Adrien Treuille has rightfully stated, the transparency in this online lab prevented an individual from adjusting his or her scientific hypotheses to match with the results of the experiment.