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Public is asked to play free smartphone game to help cancer research

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1392 (Published 06 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1392
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Cancer Research UK has launched a free mobile phone game in which players help scientists to find patterns in genetic data from cancer patients. The aim is for the information to be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

At the start of Play to Cure: Genes in Space, players are shown an image of space and asked to map their intended course through the densest parts. They then fly their spaceship through the hazard strewn course, avoiding and shooting at asteroids, while picking up as much of the precious metal “Element Alpha” as possible.

The image of space is actually a visual representation of real patient genetic data, and the players’ chosen routes are expected to …

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