TEREBRA: A PUZZLING SCIENCE GAME
In TEREBRA you are a scientist who fights antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause global epidemic diseases. Your job is to develop new antibiotics made of peptides that can keep up with resistant strains of bacterial pathogens. The more bacterial diseases you can fight off, and the more people survive each time, the higher you will score.Â Keep designing efficient antibiotics and save the world!
Every bacterium has a cell wall, like the thin rubber layer of a balloon, to keep the organism together. Tiny pores in the cell wall enable the bacteria to exchange chemical substances with the outside world. These tiny openings can be torn open by the right peptide antibiotics, similar to the way a crowbar can be used to break open a locked door. With the correct shape and fitting through the gap in this door, peptide antibiotics can enter the cell and rip its wall apart – destroying the bacterium like a burst balloon. In Terebra, it is up to you, to create the right “molecular crowbars”.
Since billions of years, nature only provides 20 different amino acids to build all the peptides we know today. These famous 20 are called “canonical amino acids”. In fact, chemistry knows many more amino acids, but they are simply not used by natural life forms. Facing ever more complex cell walls to break into, you’ll be able to use these new elements once you reach higher levels. These “noncanonical amino acids” will enable you to build even more sophisticated structures, in order to keep up with how fast the bacteria evolve.
MIRROR BIOLOGY: FLIP-FLOP AMINO ACIDS
Enzymes are like molecular machines that can modify peptides after they’ve been assembled. At an advanced level in the game, you’ll be offered a very promising enzyme that was recently discovered in bacteria living in sea sponges in coral reefs.. With this marine enzyme you can flip your aminoacid over, providing you a mirrored version of the initial molecule. Cell walls of highly resistant bacteria can only be broken up with the help of of flip-flop amino acids.
A game created and designed by Biofaction KG, developed by subcontractor Modern Alchemists OG. Financial support by the European Commission FP7 project SYNPEPTIDE.