Barack Obama’s college apartment hits NYC market for $1.4M

The New York City apartment once rented by a college-aged Barack Obama has undergone major renovations and is now selling for nearly $1.5 million.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom flat is located in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights community, which is a short walk from the former president’s alma mater, Columbia University, and sits on a quiet tree-lined street between Broadway and Riverside Drive, according to the online listing.

Built in 1905, the building has since been transformed into a 39-unit co-op that’s “move-in” ready with new plumbing, electrical and LED lighting, a Zillow listing states.

“It’s a fully renovated property in a charming building with a live-in superintendent, which means the buyer doesn’t have to do anything — just move in,” listing agent Scott Harris told

Barack Obama’s old college apartment has $1.5M price tag after a major renovation. Image courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

The redesigned rental features high ceilings, ample living space (by New York City standards) and oversize windows for “an abundance of light and air,” according to the listing. Guests can be entertained in the eat-in kitchen, which has been updated with high-end appliances and bright white cabinetry that pops against a glass-tiled backsplash.

The old student kitchen where Obama and his roommates likely spent their nights studying also features custom countertops, an over-stove vent and full-size washer and dryer unit.

In the master bedroom, there’s a wall of closets and an en-suite bathroom with a double-sink and private shower stall. The other two bedrooms also “offer spacious custom closets.” A secondary bath features marbled floor tiles and a tub to soak the day away.

Realtors with brokerage Brown Harris Stevens, which is handling the listing, said they expect the president’s old apartment to be a hot buy — especially since it’s selling for the same price it was five years ago, Realtor. com reported. Harris told the outlet that he hopes the former POTUS having lived there “could sprinkle a little fairy dust on the apartment.”

Take a look inside Obama’s former digs:

The renovated kitchen space features bright white cabinetry, glass-tiled back splash and custom countertops, according to the listing. Image courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens.

Kitchen 3.jpg
The New York City property features an oversized eat-in-kitchen with high-end appliances. Image courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens.

The three-bedroom, two bathroom apartment located in Morningside Heights has an asking price of nearly $1.5 million. Image courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens.

Bedroom 2.jpg
One of three bedrooms in the renovaed New York City apartment once rented by Barack Obama. Image courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

Bedroom 3.jpg
The second and third bedrooms also offer ample closet space, according to the online listing. Image courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

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Tanasia is a national Real-Time reporter based in Atlanta covering Georgia, Mississippi and the southeastern U.S. She’s an alumna of Kennesaw State University and joined McClatchy in 2020.

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Millions of children with disabilities are missing out on education. Like me, they deserve to fulfill their potential

When I was 9 years old, a psychologist told my parents I had a low IQ because I was born with Down syndrome.

a woman wearing a suit and tie: Brina Maxino.

© Courtesy Maxino family
Brina Maxino.

Seven years later, I graduated high school as class valedictorian. At the age of 20, I received a bachelor’s degree in arts with a major in history. Today, I am a pre-school assistant teacher, a Special Olympics Global Youth Ambassador and Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger. I am also the 2020 UNESCO Global Champion for Inclusion in Education.

I don’t think about what that psychologist said when I was a child, but I wonder how many children with disabilities are not fulfilling their potential because someone once said they couldn’t.

We can be more — and do more. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The recently released “2020 UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report” (GEM) states that children and youth with disabilities are among the most marginalized and excluded people in the world. The same report says they are 2.5 times more likely never to attend school in their lifetime than other children. An estimated 650 million people are living with disabilities in the Asia-Pacific region alone — this means millions of children are missing out.

Up to half of the roughly 65 million primary and lower secondary school-age children with disabilities in developing countries were already out of school before the Covid-19 pandemic. No country was prepared for Covid-19, but I feel more could have been done to protect children who were already marginalized before school closures began.

The GEM Report found that about 40% of low and lower-middle income countries did not support them during temporary school shutdowns. Children with disabilities were — and still are — disproportionately affected.

Distance learning also hasn’t been designed with us in mind. This leaves these children in danger of falling behind or withdrawing from education altogether.

December 3 marks International Day for Disabled Persons — a time to celebrate people with disabilities. The day also falls in the same week as the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is an important moment on the calendar to remind policy makers that most countries have committed to protecting the right to education for millions of disabled children.

Early on, I made a choice: to either accept unfairness or to advocate for our rights. As a person with disabilities, the challenges I have been faced with helped shape me — they have made me resilient, and most importantly prepared me to fight for the rights of others who are disadvantaged.

Despite my challenges, I persevered. I proved that with determination, hard work, belief in myself, and the love and support of my family, I can achieve my dreams and inspire others to do so.

As an assistant teacher, I am confronted daily with the challenges of Covid-19. Yet amid all the uncertainty and hardship created by the pandemic, there have been positive initiatives from around the

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Advocates hope for Ohio education funding overhaul by year’s end, but state senators say there may not be enough time

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would bring sweeping changes to how education is funded, since the current scheme was found unconstitutional 23 years ago.

But once in the Senate, House Bill 305 may not get far enough through the legislative process to advance to a floor vote, two senators said, explaining that there were numerous spending figures to review before year’s end, when the two-year General Assembly session expires. All bills that haven’t passed by then will die.

HB 305 is the result of years of work and negotiations in the public education community, since it would change how much money the state’s 610 school districts receive from the state and raise locally for education. Proponents argue that the current funding scheme isn’t a formula and what they’ve created in HB 305 is one that is logical and can be defended.

Sen. Matt Dolan, the Chagrin Falls Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said the components of HB 305 need to be in the next state budget bill, which will be passed next year.

“I remain hesitant to pass this,” he said. “There are still studies that need to be done. I think it’s going to be difficult to pass this out, out of the context of a state budget.”

Dolan said that the years of work that people have devoted to improving upon the bill can’t be vetted by the Senate in a matter of weeks.

Rep. John Patterson, an Ashtabula County Democrat, has been working on a new education funding formula since 2013. He began working on the issue with now Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, a Lima Republican, five years ago, and brought in members of the public education community to hammer out specifics of the bill three years ago.

He notes the bill has broad bipartisan support. It passed Thursday 32-0 in the House Finance Committee.

“We wanted to get it as right as we could for all, and I would be the first to tell you the bill is not perfect,” Patterson said. “No bill as complex as this one is perfect. But we labored to seek as much perfection as we could. That journey towards perfection cost us valuable time. I would be the first to admit that too. But the fruits of our labors were evidenced today in Finance with a vote of unanimity amongst my colleagues.”

Patterson is leaving the House at the end of the year, due to term limits.

Currently, the state’s education funding scheme attempts to equalize learning for all Ohio children, regardless of how rich or poor their community is, by bifurcating districts into two categories: those that are guaranteed state funding because their local property taxes can’t generate enough to educate students – which is 336 districts, or most of them – and the remaining ones with higher property values, which caps off the level of state funding they receive.

House Bill 305, and an identical

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Steph Curry ‘1,000 percent’ wants to play for Warriors entire career

Steph ‘1,000 percent’ wants to be on Warriors entire career originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The days of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are gone. NBA stars now are on the path of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis and many more. 

That is, superstars no longer play for one franchise their entire career. Steph Curry is different, though. His entire career has been with Golden State, and he plans on being a Warrior for life. 

“One thousand percent,” Curry said to Complex’s Zach Frydenlund. “1,000 percent.”

Curry, 32, has played 11 years in the NBA with the Warriors since being taken with the No. 7 pick in the 2009 draft. Since, then he has put together quite the long list of accomplishments. 

Through his first 11 seasons in the NBA, including last season when a broken hand limited him to five games, Curry has won two MVP awards and three championships. He also has been voted All-NBA six times and has been named to the All-Star Game six times. Already seen as perhaps the greatest shooter ever to play the game, Curry is guaranteed to be a Warrior through the 2021-22 season after signing a five-year contract worth over $201 million in August 2017.

“Like I said, things change quickly,” Curry said to Frydenlund. “But that is definitely on my mind in terms of what we’ve…this is going in my 12th year. And what we’ve accomplished, and establishing this culture here, playing for these fans and our ownership and all the way down. So I’d love to be in that club when it’s all said and done.

“You think about the legends that have not only played for [one team] their whole career, but achieving so much success. And had a longevity about it that is something to strive for in terms of getting the most out of this game and doing it for one organization, one fan base. So we’ll see what happens.”

RELATED: Steph hopes Warriors can ‘unleash’ Oubre this upcoming season

Curry has just two more years left on his contract but expect another big one with the Warriors in the future. It’s clear that’s what he wants, and the Warriors of course want their superstar to play his entire career in the Bay Area as well. 

There’s no doubt Curry’s jersey one day will hang from the Chase Center rafters and a statue of his perfect shot will be placed outside the arena. Curry’s career started as a Warrior, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t end as a Warrior.

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Outgoing Education secretary Betsy DeVos says free college amounts to a ‘socialist takeover’

In a veiled swing at President-elect Joe Biden’s education plans, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday blasted the push for free college as a “socialist takeover of higher education” that could damage the nation’s economy.

Speaking at an online conference hosted by the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office, DeVos did not mention Biden by name. But she railed against “politicians” who have issued “shrill calls” to cancel federal student debt or make college free.

“Make no mistake: It is a socialist takeover of higher education,” DeVos said. “Now, depending on your personal politics, some of you might not find that notion as scary as I do. But mark my words: None of you would like the way it will work.”

DeVos has long opposed free college proposals and has been accused of undermining federal programs that allow some borrowers to get their student loans forgiven. A federal judge held DeVos in contempt of court in 2019 after finding that she violated a court order to halt the collection of loan payments from borrowers applying for forgiveness.

Biden, by contrast, says he wants to make public colleges and universities free for families that earn less than $125,000 a year. His education plan would expand existing loan forgiveness programs, and he has backed proposals to cancel $10,000 in federal student debt for all borrowers as part of a coronavirus relief effort.

DeVos’ speech focused on her agency’s recent work and on what she called the “insidious notion of government gift giving.” It did not address lingering questions around pandemic relief for student borrowers.

The Trump administration has paused payments through the end of December, but DeVos has not said if the moratorium will be extended again.

DeVos argued that free college would place an unfair burden on taxpayers, requiring Americans who do not pursue college to “pay the bills” for those who do. College counselors, she added, would simply become “rationers” who allocate “state-approved higher education options.”

“If the politicians proposing free college today get their way, just watch our colleges and universities begin to resemble a failing K-12 school, with the customer service of the DMV to boot,” she said.

Free college has been proposed in a variety of forms as a way to make higher education affordable for all Americans. Dozens of versions have been implemented in cities and states across the U.S., and calls for a federal program gained momentum during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Biden’s plan was adopted from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a prominent advocate for free college. The proposal, which would require action by Congress, calls on the federal government to partner with states to split the cost.

When Sanders asked DeVos about free college during her 2017 Senate confirmation, DeVos argued that “nothing is truly free,” an idea that she repeated in her speech Tuesday.

“Somebody, somewhere pays the bill,” she said. “And the bill is coming due. What we do next in education policy — and in public policy writ large —

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Coronavirus issues cancel Michigan vs. Maryland

The Michigan Wolverines will not play this weekend, as their contest against the Maryland Terrapins has been canceled after COVID-19 issues within the Michigan program, which will pause practices until Monday. 

College Football Playoff rankings 2.0: Will Ohio State hang on to final spot?



All of college football will now wait to see if the Wolverines will be healthy enough to play next weekend against the rival Ohio State Buckeyes, who need to play each remaining game on their schedule to reach the six-game minimum to be eligible for the Big Ten championship game. 

a stadium full of people with Michigan Stadium in the background: General view at Michigan Stadium prior to the game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans.

© Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports
General view at Michigan Stadium prior to the game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans.

The Buckeyes currently hold the No. 4 spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. 

This is the first cancellation for Michigan, but Big Ten teams that have experienced outbreaks during the truncated season have usually missed two consecutive games as a result; Wisconsin, Minnesota and Maryland have experienced such layoffs. 

OPINION:  Five burning questions as college football coaching carousel speeds up

CONTROVERSY:  ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit apologizes for Michigan ‘white flag’ comment

THE LIST:  See if your favorite team’s schedule has been altered

Conference-USA shake-ups

Saturday’s game between Charlotte and Florida International has been canceled, but Charlotte will play this weekend. The 49ers will play Western Kentucky on Sunday at noon ET. That game had been moved to Dec. 1 before it was called off.

Also, the game between Alabama-Birmingham and Middle Tennessee State scheduled for Saturday is off.

Ole Miss cancels practice Wednesday

For the first time this fall, Ole Miss football has had to cancel team activities because of COVID-19.

The team released a statement Wednesday morning saying Wednesday’s team activities were canceled out of an “abundance of caution.” The team is using the time to conduct contact tracing after a small number of players tested positive for COVID-19.

Pending additional tests, the statement says, practice is expected to resume Thursday. The Rebels are off this weekend. 

— Nick Suss, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

San Jose State vs. Hawaii moved on-island 

The same health orders in Santa Clara County that forced the Stanford Cardinal and NFL’s San Francisco 49ers to relocate also led to this matchup, originally a home game for the Spartans, becoming an on-island affair hosted by the Warriors. 

Kent State vs. Miami (Ohio) canceled 

Coronavirus-related issues and contact tracing among Kent State players canceled the team’s matchup against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. Kent State is preparing for its season finale at home against Ohio on Dec. 12. 

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How One Person in Pakistan Made a Difference for Air Quality

Citizen Science Salon is a partnership between Discover magazine and

Air quality impacts our health, our quality of life and even the length of our lives. Most people don’t think about what’s in the air they breathe — but perhaps they should. 

That’s the driving force behind the Pakistan Air Quality Initiative. The citizen science project wants to let people know what’s in their air. While living in Beijing, a city known for poor air quality, Abid Omar became curious about the air that he and the people around him were inhaling every day. He brought this curiosity with him to Pakistan.  

Omar bought several air quality monitors and soon realized that the air quality around him in the city of Karachi was notably poor. In fact, it was bad enough that in other countries the government would have shut down schools and kept people inside. With further research, Omar realized that Pakistan was suffering from a lack of data. The most recent studies conducted were outdated and insufficient. The researchers had only targeted the cities of Karachi and Lahore, and they dated back to 2008 and 2011. The study focusing on Lahore used only two weeks of data. Omar realized that no one, not even the government, was monitoring Pakistan’s air quality.

Yet there was ample evidence that air pollution was causing serious health problems. The medical journal Lancet reported in 2015 that more than 310,000 deaths in Pakistan each year can be tied to poor air quality. That’s 22 percent of all annual deaths in Pakistan. On average, people living in Pakistan have their life expectancy reduced by 2.6 years due to poor air quality, with that number reaching up to roughly 5 years in the heavily-populated Punjab region, according to the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

PAQI found that none of the cities they studied in Pakistan met the air quality levels set out by the National Environmental Quality Standards. And those standards suggest that the city of Lahore had 41 days where air quality should have been considered “Hazardous” (the worst possible ranking). 

If better information was available and accessible, Omar thought, then people could protect themselves. They’d know which days to pass on their morning jog or wear a face mask outside. The information could save their lives.

Air Visual

(Credit: AirVisual)

What’s in the Air?

Using AirVisual monitors, Omar organized the Pakistan Air Quality Initiative as an air quality monitoring network. “This process would not have been possible without the help of volunteers,” he says. “Everyone was critical in locating areas to set up air monitors and setting them up. The investment required for each volunteer is fairly low. Air monitors only need to be set up. [However], the data that they provide has been paying off in numerous ways.”

Omar used to worry that the lack of action could make Pakistan’s air quality the worst in the world. And in November of 2017, that’s exactly what happened.

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RUDN University physicists described a new type of amorphous solid bodies


IMAGE: Many substances with different chemical and physical properties, from diamonds to graphite, are made up of carbon atoms. Amorphous forms of solid carbon do not have a fixed crystal structure…
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Credit: RUDN University

Many substances with different chemical and physical properties, from diamonds to graphite, are made up of carbon atoms. Amorphous forms of solid carbon do not have a fixed crystal structure and consist of structural units–nanosized graphene particles. A team of physicists from RUDN University studied the structure of amorphous carbon and suggested classifying it as a separate type of amorphous solid bodies: a molecular amorphic with enforced fragmentation. The results of the study were published in the Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures journal.

Solid carbon has many allotropic modifications. It means that substances with different chemical and physical properties can be built from one and the same atoms arranged in different structures. The variety of carbon allotropes is due to the special properties of its atoms, namely their unique ability to form single, double, and triple valence bonds. If, due to certain reaction conditions, only single bonds are formed (i.e. the so-called sp3-hybridization takes place), solid carbon has the shape of a three-dimensional grid of tetrahedrons, i.e. a diamond. If the conditions are favorable for the formation of double bonds (sp2-hybridization), solid carbon has the form of graphite–a structure of flat layers made of comb-like hexagonal cells. Individual layers of this solid body are called graphene. These two types of solid carbon structures are observed both in ordered crystals and non-ordered amorphous bodies. Solid carbon is widely spread in nature both as crystalline rock (graphite or diamond) deposits and in the amorphous form (brown and black coal, shungite, anthraxolite, and other minerals).

Unlike its crystalline form, natural amorphous carbon belongs to the sp2 type. A major study of the structure and elemental composition of sp2 amorphous carbon was conducted at the initiative and with the participation of a team of physicists from RUDN University. In the course of the study, the team also took spectral measurements using photoelectronic spectroscopy, inelastic neutron scattering, infrared absorption, and Raman scattering. Based on the results of the study, the team concluded that sp2 amorphous carbon is a fractal structure based on nanosized graphene domains that are surrounded by atoms of other elements (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and so on). With this hypothesis, the team virtually re-wrote the history of amorphous carbon that has been known to humanity since the first-ever man-made fire.

“The discovery and experimental confirmation of the graphene nature of the ‘black gold’ will completely change the theory, modeling, and interpretation of experiments with this class of substances. However, some questions remain unanswered. What does solid-state physics make of this amorphous state of solid carbon? What role does amorphous carbon with sp2-hybridization play in the bigger picture? We tried to find our own answers,” said Elena Sheka, a Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics, and a Consulting Professor at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics and Natural

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Opinion | How Betsy DeVos Has Influenced Education Policy’s Future

Measured solely by policy accomplishments, Betsy DeVos, one of Donald Trump’s longest-serving cabinet officials, was a flop in her four years as secretary of education.

Early on, her efforts to move a federal voucher program through a Republican-controlled Congress more concerned with taxes and deregulation repeatedly fell short. This year, she was forced to abandon a directive ordering states to redirect coronavirus funds to private schools after three federal judges ruled against her.

And significant pieces of Obama-era civil rights guidance that she rescinded — moves meant to protect transgender students, for instance, or address racially disproportionate school discipline — will be immediately restored by the incoming Biden administration.

Though Ms. DeVos has been mostly stymied, both by Trumpism’s policy indifference and progressive opposition, her legacy will still be far-reaching and long-lasting. This is not a result of what she made, but of what she broke: a bipartisan federal consensus around testing and charters that extended from the George H.W. Bush administration through the end of the Obama era.

For progressives, this shift hasn’t necessarily been bad news. In response to Ms. DeVos’s polarizing influence, moderate Democrats including President-elect Joe Biden recommitted to teachers unions and adopted more skeptical positions on school choice that were out of the question just a few years ago. Mr. Biden has pledged to exclude for-profit charter schools from federal funding, and he has proposed making larger investments in public education by using Title I statutes to double federal support for schools serving low-income students.

Yet Ms. DeVos has also elevated the education policy agenda of the far right, giving voice and legitimacy to a campaign to fundamentally dismantle public education. That campaign, pursued for the past few decades only in deep-red states, and often perceived as belonging to the libertarian fringe, has become the de facto agenda of the Republican Party.

So, while it is true that the Biden administration will swiftly reverse President Trump’s executive orders and administrative guidance from the Department of Education, Mr. Biden’s education secretary will still have to contend with extreme ideas that have suddenly entered the mainstream.

More than three decades ago, conventional Republicans and centrist Democrats signed on to an unwritten treaty. Conservatives agreed to mute their push for private school vouchers, their preference for religious schools and their desire to slash spending on public school systems. In return, Democrats effectively gave up the push for school integration and embraced policies that reined in teachers unions.

Together, led by federal policy elites, Republicans and Democrats espoused the logic of markets in the public sphere, expanding school choice through publicly funded charter schools. Competition, both sides agreed, would strengthen schools. And the introduction of charters, this contingent believed, would empower parents as consumers by even further untethering school enrollment from family residence.

The bipartisan consensus also elevated the role of student tests in evaluating schools. The first President Bush ushered in curricular standards in 1989 when he gathered the nation’s governors, including Bill Clinton of Arkansas, for a

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Breakthrough A.I. Makes Huge Leap Toward Solving 50-Year-Old Problem in Biology | Smart News

Life on Earth relies on microscopic machines called proteins that are vital to everything from holding up the structure of each cell, to reading genetic code, to carrying oxygen through the bloodstream. With meticulous lab work, scientists have figured out the precise, 3-D shapes of about 170,000 proteins—but there are at least 200 million more to go, Robert F. Service reports for Science magazine.

Now, the artificial intelligence company DeepMind, which is owned by the same company that owns Google, has developed a tool that can predict the 3-D shapes of most proteins with similar results to experiments in the lab, Cade Metz reports for the New York Times. While lab experiments can take years to tease out a protein structure, DeepMind’s tool, called AlphaFold, can come up with a structure in just a few days, per Nature’s Ewen Callaway. The tool could help speed up studies in medicine development and bioengineering.

Molecular biologists want to know the structures of proteins because the shape of a molecule determines what it’s able to do. For instance, if a protein is causing damage in the body, then scientists could study its structure and then find another protein that fits it like a puzzle piece to neutralize it. AlphaFold could accelerate that process.

“This is going to empower a new generation of molecular biologists to ask more advanced questions,” says Max Planck Institute evolutionary biologist Andrei Lupas to Nature. “It’s going to require more thinking and less pipetting.”

DeepMind tested out AlphaFold by entering it in a biennial challenge called Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction, or CASP, for which Lupas was a judge. CASP provides a framework for developers to test their protein-prediction software. It’s been running since 1994, but the recent rise of machine learning in protein structure prediction has pushed participants to new levels. AlphaFold first participated last year and scored about 15% better than the other entries, per Science magazine. This year, a new computational strategy helped AlphaFold leave the competition in the dust.

Proteins are made of chains of chemicals called amino acids that are folded up into shapes, like wire sculptures. There are 20 kinds of amino acids, each with their own chemical characteristics that affect how they interact with others along the strand. Those interactions determine how the strand folds up into a 3-D shape. And because these chains can have dozens or hundreds of amino acids, predicting how a strand will fold based just on a list of amino acids is a challenge.

But that’s exactly what CASP asks participants to do. CASP assessors like Lupas have access to the answer key—the 3-D structure of a protein that was determined in a lab, but not yet published publicly. AlphaFold’s entries were anonymized as “group 427,” but after they solved structure after structure, Lupas was able to guess that it was theirs, he tells Nature.

“Most atoms are within an atom diameter of where they are in the experimental structure,” says CASP co-founder

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