Cancer research has lured the best and the brightest scientists from academia and biopharma circles. With Cell Slider, now the rest of us can participate in hunting down cancer.
|Courtesy of Cancer Research UK--Click the image to enlarge >>|
Inspired by a crowdsourcing game in astronomy, Cell Slider took off in October and has already rallied thousands of players to count and classify tumor cells on digital images from biopsies. Though the game came out about 6 months ago, its website says that players have analyzed more than 763,000 images and counting.
Cancer Research UK, the British agency studying tumors, teamed up with the Zooniverse project to create Cell Slider. Zooniverse brought the world an online astronomy game called Galaxy Zoo that became an instant hit with thousands of web users willing to part with a few minutes to analyze images of faraway galaxies. In Cell Slider, players get a close look at the kind of images that are used to monitor and guide antitumor treatment.
Now the cancer agency has caught the gaming bug. This month the organization and partner Citizen Science Alliance announced that they would follow Cell Slider with the planned release of a game that poses players with the challenge of identifying abnormalities in cancer gene data. The new game is expected out this summer.
"From our first collaboration, Cell Slider, we've already seen that there are tens of thousands of people happy to contribute their spare time to the cause of science," Dr. Chris Lintott, chair of Citizen Science Alliance, stated.
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