Recently, it was well publicized that a group of gamers had made some major scientific advances in AIDS research. The blog site Foldit uses the public domain and the collective creativity of gamers to solve scientific problems.
In this particular case, gamers were give the opportunity to predict a model of a molecular structure that would match existing information collected. The idea is really simple and seemingly obvious. If someone walked up to any moderate to serious gamers and said "Hey, we have the ultimate puzzle game for you", most would clamor at the chance to be the first to solve it. The puzzle just happens to be a real life virus.
As a person of science, I think this kind of "science by committee" is long overdue. As a gamer, I think its great that the long hours might be going towards something universally positive. The website offers up other virus, DNA model, and molecular puzzles. You can find the site here. Go check out positive gaming in action.