Microbes are germs and they are everywhere! Most are good for you. Some are not.
Learning more about microbes (where they live, how they behave) can teach us more about their influence on diseases, cures, and our entire ecosystem.
Here are five microbial citizen science projects you can do now.
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DNA, proteins, and chromosomes are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but there are plenty of citizen science projects that make the building blocks of life accessible to us all.
Here are some great projects that need your help to advance our understanding of what we’re made of and where we come from.
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These projects are sure to go viral!
Flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks. What can you do about it? For starters, get your flu vaccine (the CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine
for everyone 6 months of age and older). Then, get involved in our editors’ list of citizen science projects designed to study viruses and bacteria, including a couple that track sickness in wild animals and plants.
Sign up for a Do-It-Yourself saliva collection system to use at home when you feel sick. Samples will be analyzed at a central
laboratory that checks for 20 different viral infections. Log on to see your own lab results and those of people near you. Get started!
Help scientists monitor the flu as it spreads across the UK and nine other European countries. Report your flu-like symptoms on a weekly basis, online. Get started!
The Wildlife Health Event Reporter
Report sightings of sick or dead wildlife to help prevent wildlife disease outbreaks that may pose a health risk to people, too. These researchers hope to harness the power of the many eyes of the public to better detect wildlife disease phenomenon. Get started!
Plants get sick, too! Help scientists identify plant cells that “clump” together by looking at these online images. Clumping usually means there’s a bacterial infection which can be devastating for plants and seriously compromise crops. Get started!
Malaria is a prevalent and killer disease in poorer countries. Scientists are trying to discover new drugs to target new proteins in the parasite. This project aims to find these new targets.Donate your computer power to aid in antimalarial drug research. Get started!
Project Image Credits (In order): GoViral, DOD, Wildlife Data Integration Network, Clumpy, Wikimedia Commons
It’s Shark Week for Citizen Scientists!
It’s that time of year again. (Cue Jaws theme song.) Discovery Channel’s Shark Week starts on August 10th! But rather than fear these beautiful creatures, participate in projects to help advance research about sharks!
Hey! If you’re involved in more than one citizen science project, we’d like to hear from you. Email email@example.com to find out why (we’ve got a free t-shirt for you!).
Wildbook for Whale Sharks
Share your photographs of whale sharks and Wildbook’s pattern recognition software will distinguish between individual sharks by identifying skin patterns behind the gills of each shark! The photos you share will be used in mark-recapture studies to help with the global conservation of this threatened species.Get started!
Sevengill Shark Sightings, San Diego
If you spot a Sevengill Shark while on a dive, be sure to snap a photo or record video. Images can be uploaded to a pattern recognition program to track Sevengill sharks! Get started!
New England Basking Shark Project
The New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance invites boaters, fishermen, and divers to report their sightings and send in their photos of basking sharks. Help monitor the local population and migration patterns. Get started!
Shark Trust: Great Eggcase Hunt
Prefer a casual stroll on the beach? Report findings of shark egg cases (“mermaid’s purses”) washed up on the beach. An eggcase contains one embryo which will develop over several months into a miniature shark, skate or ray. Once empty, the eggcases often wash ashore, indicating the location of nurseries, which provides species information on abundance and distribution! Get started!
From our partners:
Check out “Exploring a Culture of Health,” a citizen science series brought to you by Discover Magazine, SciStarter and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, serving as an ally to help Americans work together to build a national Culture of Health that enables everyone to lead healthier lives now and for generations to come.