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Smartphone game seeks to cure cancer

| February 5, 2014
cancer videogame research cure
A screenshot of the game.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Gaming enthusiasts across the world can from Tuesday join the search for cancer cures with a citizen science project using a smartphone game to help researchers analyze vast volumes of genetic data from tumor samples.

Called “Play to Cure: Genes in Space”, the spaceship game is designed for smartphones and was launched by the charity Cancer Research UK (CRUK), which hopes it will speed up the decoding of data to reveal patterns of the genetic faults that cause cancers to grow and spread.

Players essentially steer a spaceship around a maze generated from the researcher’s data collecting a fictional resource (Element Alpha) and in so doing reveal patterns in the data that a computer might miss.

“Computers are very good, but they are not perfect,” Professor Carlos Caldas, an oncologist at CRUK’s Cambridge Institute, explained. “The human eye is still the best technology we have for picking up these patterns, and…Genes in Space is harnessing that power.”

Read the full, original article: Citizens seek cancer cure with ‘Genes in Space’ smartphone game

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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