Rating: Very Good

Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android:

Cost: Free

Strong Points: Great user interface, fun to play.

Weak Points: Some of the levels don’t have clear goals.

If you’re looking to take a gaming break for a few minutes but still want to contribute to some scientific discovery, then check out Eterna. The app is a fun game where users match base pairs to form properly paired RNA molecules. The game gets trickier as it goes along, introducing new features and challenges with each level that you pass. The app teaches you as you go, starting with basic information about base pairs and RNA before introducing topics such as how base pairs interact with each other and how RNA can fold into different shapes. By playing the game, users are actually helping to create a library of hypothetical RNA structures that researchers can recreate and test at the bench. So go ahead and take a break with Eterna—you can rest easy knowing that your gaming time is contributing to important research.

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