Print 12 comment(s) - last by mike66.. on Mar 4 at 4:55 PM

New game will only take around 5 minutes to play/contribute to

Charity Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is spearheading a project to develop a mobile app that will use human smarts in a game format to speed up cancer research.  The project has some high profile support., Inc. (AMZN), Facebook, Inc. (FB), and Google Inc. (GOOG) employees are all taking part in the effort to develop the app.

Over 40 computer programmers, gamers, graphic designers and other specialists will take part in the weekend "GameJam" to develop the app.  The event is being held in London, UK from Mar. 1-3.  The goal is to have a graphical interface to allow users to aid in accelerating the translation of genetic data.

Cancer Research UK employee Carlos Caldas, who works at the Cambridge Institute, comments, "We're making great progress in understanding the genetic reasons cancer develops. But the clues to why some drugs will work and some won't are held in data which need to be analyzed by the human eye - and this could take years.  By harnessing the collective power of citizen scientists we'll accelerate the discovery of new ways to diagnose and treat cancer much more precisely."

The World Health Organization's (WHO) cancer agency IARC estimates that by 2030 cancer rates are expected to soar 75 percent.  Currently over 7.5 million people die each year from cancer.

Cancer UK
Cancer Research UK is spearheading the app effort. [Image Source: Guardian]

It sounds unbelievable, but humans are still often able to beat machines in manually identifying patterns in cancer genes among patients.  Describes CRUK, "The human eye can detect subtle changes that machines are not programmed to look for - leading to serendipitous discoveries providing clues to the causes and drivers of the disease.  With the collective power of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe helping our scientists to analyze this data we could drastically speed up research."

Philip Su, engineering site director of Facebook London, is excited to be onboard the effort.  He enthuses, "[The best way to fight cancer] is to bring smart people together to 'hack' a solution.  That approach is just as valid in the field of life sciences as it is in software engineering."

The app will be released in mid-2013.

Once volunteers discover genes associated with specific cancers, new drugs will be able to be developed to target the affected DNA or proten it generates.  Past projecets like Folding@home, the Higgs boson hunt, and Captcha translation have been highly successful, so there's high hopes for this volunteer effort.

Source: CRUK

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RE: too late for Mr Jobs
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2013 8:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
Your a heartless idiot, nobody deserves cancer and most importantly they should have choice of treatment or not at all if that's their wish.

What the hell are you talking about, did you read my post? I never said he deserved cancer. I'm criticizing him for throwing away his life. What kind of idiot spends nine months after diagnosis trying to "mentally cure" cancer!!?? Especially someone who can afford the BEST CARE ON EARTH!

if the general public relised that most western medical treatments are barbaric tortures

Those "barbaric tortures" have been proven to give a better result than any other method. For every person who was miraculously "cured" by a homeopathic treatment, there are thousands of dead.

Steve Jobs would be alive today if he received treatment when he was diagnosed. By the time he woke up and got a clue nine months later, it had metastasized in his liver. How is bringing up those facts being a "heartless bastard"? And what about that man or woman who waited for months or even years for a donor liver, only to have some rich hot-shot bully his way to the front of the line?

I'm sorry about your brain tumor, obviously this subject is personal to you. But pretty much everyone has had their lives touched in some way by cancer today. Yes, it might be your "choice" to do nothing and die because you're scared of treatments, but don't expect others to respect that.

RE: too late for Mr Jobs
By mike66 on 3/3/2013 8:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Your reply again shows absolutely no understanding of what it means to be told you have cancer. There are no cures, there are treatments only. If you are lucky then you may reach REMISSION but that does not mean cure. Every cancer survivor also knows that " thinking your cancer away" is called positive thinking which is recommended by every doctor, shaman and homeopathic healer on the planet. The nine months you rely upon is just about right for someone who is diagnosed to see the specialists and to formulate treatment plans and to wait for that organ, he did not go to china for his transplant so all the money in the world is not going to buy him advancement in the west's organ donor line. During that 9 months he suddenly got very thin and skiney, I suspect he was having chemo because he looked healthy after that for a while - Remission. He is the bravest man in the world because he chose to finish off his life's work, that's called quality of life. Your facts you so rely upon are nothing but speculation of the worst kind because only Steve and his family know the real truth which they have not discussed in public. I myself am not afraid of death just everything beforehand because I want to protect my loved ones from people like you.

RE: too late for Mr Jobs
By maugrimtr on 3/4/2013 8:43:25 AM , Rating: 2
Ignore Reclaimer for being an ass. He probably can't help it.

Also, best of luck and I hope you're well supported by family and friends. A good friend went through your experience when he was 22. He had surgery but I'm not sure if the side effects were worth it to him.

RE: too late for Mr Jobs
By mike66 on 3/4/2013 4:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the support, you mentioned the bug bear that most don't seem to understand, surgery means damaging the tissue around the tumor. I have ended up emotionally supporting what friends and family have not abandoned me. That's another thing most don't understand, it's just to painful for some people to watch their friend or family member being pulled apart little by little. I lost everything, my home,my job and my future. I have tried engaging government support and that is just a waste of time and energy, for an example, to be housed I will have to wait about five years as the waiting list is that long. Insurance that I have are fighting my claim and I guess their trying to drag it out so I'll die before they have to pay me. Anyhow enough of that, I hope your friend lives long and prospers, with friends like you I know he has quality of life and is better off because of you.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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