I describe how experimental studies of protein folding have led to advances in protein structure prediction and protein design. I describe the finding that protein sequences are not optimized for rapid folding, the contact order–protein folding rate correlation, the incorporation of experimental insights into protein folding into the Rosetta protein structure production methodology and the use of this methodology to determine structures from sparse experimental data. I then describe the inverse problem (protein design) and give an overview of recent work on designing proteins with new structures and functions. I also describe the contributions of the general public to these efforts through the Rosetta@home distributed computing project and the FoldIt interactive protein folding and design game.

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