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Help Cure Cancer on Your Lunch Break With Genes in Space

The Ideas Arcade

Like the sound of helping to cure cancer on your lunch break? Now you can. Cancer Research UK has launched a free smartphone game 'Genes in Space' which "uses the collective force of players to analyse real genetic data and help beat cancer sooner".

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to travel through space collecting a valuable (and highly fictional) substance known as Element Alpha.

Cancer Research, who worked with game developers Guerilla Tea to develop the game, hope that 1000's of people will play the game - helping scientists to trawl through data which would otherwise take years. Computer software is not currently up to job of doing the analysis alone, missing something important in 1 in 10 cases.

The visual environment of the game is built around tumour sample readouts, translating the peaks and troughs of the readouts - which are the areas of the genome most likely to harbour abnormalities - into a physical landscape navigable by the human eye...

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