Smartphone game ‘GeneGame’ to crowdsource cancer research

Gamers playing a Cancer Research UK smartphone app set for launch this autumn will be helping to find new treatments for cancer.

Currently titled “GeneGame”, users of the app will be analysing genetic data and helping to pinpoint the genetic causes of cancer as they play.

“2013 is the year that we’re changing the face of cancer research”

Amy Carton, Cancer Research UK

“We have terabytes, upon petabytes of genetic data,” Cancer Research UK’s citizen science lead Amy Carton told Wired.co.uk. “The nature of that data is such that humans are far better at analysing it than an algorithm.”

Hidden in that data, some of which originates from studies carried out in the 1970s, could be information that points researchers towards new treatments for cancer. The vast amount of data means that, unfortunately, “our scientists are not getting through it fast enough,” says Carton.

That’s where the power of the crowd comes in. There are millions of smartphone users spending million of minutes a day playing smartphone games like Kingdom Rush. Carton wants to tap into huge amount of human effort and direct it towards medical research.

Relatris‘s insight:

News from the UK cance gamification app. What initially started as an initiative involving Facebook, Google and Amazon will now be carried out by a company named Guerilla Tea. Looking forward being a citizen scientist having fun doing research 🙂

See on www.wired.co.uk

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