Smartphone Game Lets Players Join the Fight Against Breast Cancer
If you don’t believe videos games and breast cancer research have anything in common, think again. There is a new smartphone application on the market that allows players to help researchers sort through cancer data, according to BBC News. In “Play to Cure: Genes in Space,” gamers will navigate a spaceship around obstructions on an intergalactic journey to secure a precious material called Element Alpha. Then the route charted by the players will be sent to the scientists for their analysis.
Cancer Research UK and Guerilla Tea application developers have input breast cancer genetic data into the foundation of the game. The data has many high and low points and that is often where the abnormalities that contribute to the growth of breast cancer tumors are found. Players of the game will navigate their journey while their path is recorded in a map that scientists will access to learn where those high and low points are located in the data.
Computer software programs miss about one in 10 cases of these “error segments,” which isn’t accurate enough to warrant their use. This is why the research must be sorted through by the human eye.
The goal is to have the treatment procedures of future cancer patients approached in a targeted way, and the game will help that become a reality, according to Cancer Research UK. “Play to Cure” is now available on the Google Play and Apple App store.