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Play smartphone game to help cancer cure project

Published on Feb 4, 2014 9:08 PM
 

LONDON (REUTERS) - 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 analyse vast volumes of genetic data from tumour 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.

Travelling in a world set 800 years in the future, players guide a fast-paced spaceship safely through a hazard-strewn intergalactic assault course, gathering along the way a fictional precious cargo called "Element Alpha".

Each time a player steers the ship to follow the Element Alpha path, they also reveal patterns and, unwittingly, provide analysis of variations in the genetic data, explained Ms Hannah Keartland, who led the project for CRUK and unveiled the game at a London launch on Tuesday.

 
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