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Play to Cure: Genes in Space

Main Project Information
Presented By Cancer Research UK - Citizen Science
Goal To find clues about genetic mistakes that may lead to cancer.
Task Explore space and analyse real cancer data!
Where Global, anywhere on the planet
Description

* Project is complete! Learn how the game furthered science
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/citizen-science/the-projects#citizenscience1

Help researchers cure cancer.

The problem:

We know that faults in our genes can lead to cancer cells forming. This can be linked to the amount of genes in our cells - sometimes we have more and sometimes we have less.

It can take years for scientists to analyze all of their genetic data, but with thousands of citizen scientists playing Genes in Space, the process is greatly accelerated.

How it works:

First, you plot a galactic route. In the context of the game, you're choosing your flight path, but these “space coordinates” are actually a visualization of DNA data, and you're showing our scientists where the genetic variations are which may lead to cancer.

Then you collect Element Alpha, a mist like substance that can be traded for ship upgrades. It actually represents the same DNA data that has just been mapped – which means our scientists have two perspectives on the same sample, from one player.

And we’ve added an asteroid field. This makes the gameplay more engaging and challenging. You need to dodge or shoot a multitude of asteroids to complete a stage.

Each data sample is analyzed multiple times for accuracy. Don’t worry about making mistakes - the more people who use Genes in Space, the more accurate the results will be and the faster data can be translated into new ways to beat cancer.

As seen in Chapter 10 of Citizen Science by Caren Cooper.

How to Join

Download Genes in Space from the App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/play-to-cure-genes-in-space/id784643890?mt=8) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.guerillatea.elementalpha&hl=en_GB) and start playing!

For more information about the game, go to www.genes-in-space.org.uk.

Website http://www.genes-in-space.org.uk
Social Media
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Ideal Frequency Just once
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time indoors
Type of Activity In the car, At home, At the beach, At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium, At night, At sports stadiums
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags app, cancer, cancer research, citizen science, game, genes, genes in space, health, rwjf, science, smartphone, space, spaceship
Project Updated 04/21/2017