Gamifying Cancer Research Crowdsources the Race for the Cure

Jason Brick at PSFK:”Computer time and human hours are among of the biggest obstacles in the face of progress in the fight against cancer. Researchers have terabytes of data, but only so many processors and people with which to analyze it. Much like the SETI program (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), it’s likely that big answers are already in the information we’ve collected. They’re just waiting for somebody to find them.

Reverse the Odds, a free mobile game from Cancer Research UK, accesses the combined resources of geeks and gamers worldwide. It’s a simple app game, the kind you play in line at the bank or while waiting at the dentist’s office, in which you complete mini puzzles and buy upgrades to save an imaginary world.

Each puzzle of the game is a repurposing of cancer data. Players find patterns in the data — the exact kind of analysis grad students and volunteers in a lab look for — and the results get compiled by Cancer Research UK for use in finding a cure. Errors are expected and accounted for because the thousands of players expected will round out the occasional mistake….(More)”

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