A SCOTTISH software company is to develop a game to help researchers make new discoveries about the genetic causes of cancer.
Charity Cancer Research UK has hired Dundee-based Guerilla Tea to make a mobile phone game which will allow the public to help scientists in their efforts to pinpoint new genetic links to cancer in the hope of speeding up new treatments.
The game - with the working title GeneGame - will create a fun way for people to play and help analyse genetic data at the same time.
This will involve looking for variations in genetic information which can only be spotted accurately by the human eye. The information produced by the “citizen scientists” will then be fed back to researchers,
Amy Carton, citizen science lead for Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re right at the start of a world-first initiative that will result in a game that we hope hundreds of thousands of people across the globe will want to play over and over again and, at the same time, generate robust scientific data analysis.
“Combining complicated cancer research data and gaming technology in this way has never been done before and it’s certainly no mean feat but we’re working with the best scientific and technology brains in the business, we’re ready for the challenge and believe the results will have global impact and speed up research.”
Mark Hastings, from Guerilla Tea, added: “We’ve always believed games technology has the potential to provide huge benefits to other sectors and this project will be a wonderful example of that.
“We’re very excited to get started and through our work look forward to helping speed up discoveries that one day might lead to new cancer treatments.”