Scientific culture, Educational innovation

Download Aminocraft and build your own amino acids!

Two UGA researchers have developed an application to help students learn about the chemical structure of 20 amino acids: the building blocks of life.
Available as a free download to your smartphone (Apple or Android) in either French or English, the application allows you to play and learn offline during your commute, your coffee break, or any free moment.

These 20 amino acids are the basic ingredients in the construction of proteins. Understanding how they work is one of the key elements in understanding life (not to mention passing courses in biology, biochemistry, or the health sciences!).

In an effort to make the memorization of these facts more engaging and enjoyable, Eve de Rosny and Véronique Rossi -- researchers at Grenoble’s Institut de biologie structural -- developed the application as a pedagogical tool in conjunction with the group grenoblois curious. The project also benefited from the région Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne’s digital university project, which provided financial support.

Professor de Rosny says she was inspired in part by the game Minecraft, which also inspired the name Aminocraft for the new app. Indeed, experienced users can move from simple memorization to construction, building their own proteins and amino acids. The competitively-minded can share their scores and compete against their friends on social media.

 
Updated on October 19, 2017