By moving blocks of different colors and shapes in Genigma, players are actually analyzing small fragments of cancer cell DNA.
The Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona and the National Center for Genomic Analysis (CNAG-CRG) have launched a mobile game to promote cancer research, according to the CRG website.
In Genigma, players analyze small fragments of cancer cell DNA that match real data obtained in the lab. After combining the fragments, scientists will have a reference genome. The collaborative effort will help understand which parts of the genome may play a crucial role in the development of cancer.
The puzzles are simple – you just have to move objects of different colors and shapes until they line up in a single sequence. For the next 90 days, every Monday, developers will introduce new genome fragments from the T-47D breast cancer cell line that people will “play” with.
Genigma will analyze the resulting solutions offered by the players, which will help advance breast cancer research. In recent decades, it has become apparent that one of the main limitations is the sheer volume of data that needs to be analyzed. Computers can do this quickly, but offer only standard solutions. Also, humans recognize visual images much better than machines do.
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