Read the full story from Think Progress.
Dan MacLean knew a fungus was killing off ash trees in the U.K. by the thousands.
He also knew, through his work at Norwich’s Sainsbury Laboratory, that some trees had shown resistance to the fungus, Chalara fraxinea, and if he and his fellow scientists could just identify which gene was responsible for the resistance, they could potentially cross-breed a strand of fungus-tolerant trees. But computer programs provided only limited help, and human scientists didn’t have the time or resources to sift through thousands of ash genes.
So MacLean and his colleagues did what any serious scientist in search of answers would do when faced with a dilemma: they took the problem to Facebook.