Modifying someone else's design

I’ve just entered the lab for the first time and am trying out the Sea Turtle for new players problem. I noticed that you can review other entries, edit them, and then submit the new design. Are there any community rules regarding this? It’s a no-no? Or just cite the original designer?

I’m assuming it’s OK as it follows the idea of building on others work to advance knowledge. But I wouldn’t want to do the equivalent of cheating or stealing.

Hi Scotto!

You are assuming rightly. You are allowed to modify other players designs. We even encourage it. We want the best designs to get improved. So we build onto them and make them evolve. Just mention the design you are modifying.

Good luck with the designing!

I did this and gave credit to the OP, summarizing my improvements. I have found in sea turtle that avoiding any consecutive C-C in the sequence allows for reducing C-G pairs while keeping respectably low energy and nice looking melting point and pairing prob. plots. I hope this helps. I was looking for a thread to discuss sea turtle, this was the only one that came up.

As Eli said, modifying designs is not only allowed, but encouraged. The first-cut at any lab is seldom the best design. As the rounds progress, people often take some of the better designs and try to “improve” them by tweaking areas that seem to be causing mismatches. This inspection/ introspection/ intervention is one of the reasons that humans can generally do better than algorithms at folding RNA.

But you don’t need to wait until the later rounds. If you see a design that you think you can improve in some way, go for it! Best to credit the original designer, say what you changed, and why you think it improves the design. This is especially true for switch labs, where it is often much easier to modify and improve an existing design than to start from scratch.