Video games might make some of us fat and depressed, but Canadian researchers are hoping gamers will find an online puzzle challenge addictive enough to help them figure out the origins of
genetic diseases.

The game, called Phylo, works by helping researchers identify sections of DNA that are similar across species and contribute to traits such as blue eyes -- or
medical conditions such as heart disease. By pinpointing these regions,
scientists hope to trace the source of certain genetic diseases.

It turns out that humans are much better than computers at recognizing these types of patterns. Lead researcher Jerome Waldispuhl and his colleagues at McGill University built Phylo to capitalize on that fact.

They aren't the first scientists to harness idle people and their pattern-recognition prowess to achieve research goals. There's the
University of Washington's protein folding game Foldit, for example. There's also Galaxy Zoo, which tasks users to classify galaxies according to shape. (A spin-off called Moon Zoo focuses on lunar craters.)


For more about Pylo visit www.popgoestheclassroom.com

Views: 41

Tags: 2.0, Culture, Genetics, Phylo, Pop, STEM, Web

Comment

You need to be a member of Classroom 2.0 to add comments!

Join Classroom 2.0

Report

Win at School

Commercial Policy

If you are representing a commercial entity, please see the specific guidelines on your participation.

Badge

Loading…

Follow

Awards:

© 2019   Created by Steve Hargadon.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service