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Video Gamers Advancing Genetic Research

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-slap-a-few-achievements-in-there dept.

Games 23

An anonymous reader writes "From McGill's news site: 'Thousands of video game players have helped significantly advance our understanding of the genetic basis of diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer over the past year. They are the users of a web-based video game developed by Dr. Jérôme Waldispuhl of the McGill School of Computer Science and collaborator Mathieu Blanchette. Phylo is designed to allow casual game players to contribute to scientific research by arranging multiple sequences of coloured blocks that represent human DNA. By looking at the similarities and differences between these DNA sequences, scientists are able to gain new insight into a variety of genetically-based diseases.'" Hopefully Phylo will be as successful as Foldit.

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Consoles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289492)

This should be adapted for xbox live etc.

Re:Consoles (2)

dskzero (960168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38290782)

This isn't a dark, grity, brown corridor shooter. It has no space on the consoles.

What HAVEN'T we helped significantly advance? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38289526)

This is a great application of the "gamification" buzzword I've heard bandied about recently.

So long as the reward structure doesn't represent Skinner Boxification, I'm fine with this.

However, does everything need to be a game? If it was more like work would people perform the task for free? How do you know unless you try?

Are not many real world systems very similar to playing games anyhow?
This just in: Corporations help the Gambling Addicted advance the Economic Research via new game dubbed "The Stock Market".

Re:What HAVEN'T we helped significantly advance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289570)

It might work without the "game aspect" as long as people actually felt they where doing charitable work to a meaningful degree.

Re:What HAVEN'T we helped significantly advance? (2)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38289682)

While some people generally enjoy work, most don't

While some people don't enjoy games, most do.

This is why its a game, and not work :)

Gamification vs. Skinner Boxification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38290104)

Too late: Zynga.

DNA samples (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289534)

Not to mention their socks are just chock full of DNA samples.

Hell Yeah! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289536)

Oh joy! If this works out I can blow it out of proportion in debates like how I did for Foldit!

obligatory xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289598)

...isn't there an xkcd strip about this?

captcha: memorize

really.

Now all they need (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38289614)

Is to add a microtransaction model and they should be able to get people to both do the work AND fund the project at the same time!

Re:Now all they need (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38291740)

Add-On: Officially Licensed Triple-Helix Species 8472 DNA from Star Trek Voyager: $29.99

Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289664)

Nazi Germany was stopped in 1945 ... 44 years later Germany is reunited.

Video Games were invented in 1969 by Ralph Bear ... 43 years later parents are still angry.

Link to where you can play the game (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289672)

http://phylo.cs.mcgill.ca/

Zynga's LabVille is just around the corner... (5, Funny)

Spud McDoug (2526608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38289690)

First one to 1,000,000 friends gets a Nobel.

Re:Zynga's LabVille is just around the corner... (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38292206)

Thing is, though, that Adenine, Thymine and Guanine can be bought for regular efforts; Cytosine costs actual real world money...

Merry 70th Anniversary China (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38289710)

We will never forget!

Cyberbrain Sclerosis (1)

wirelesslayers (2014486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38291918)

Reminds me the Cyberbrain Sclerosis kids from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

GeneVille (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38292176)

If they make it a skinner box game, we'll have a cure for cancer within a decade...

Also check out Fold.it, the protein folding game (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38294632)

http://fold.it/portal/

"Game" mechanics need work (2)

WhoIsThePumaman (1182087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38298158)

While it's a neat puzzle game that magically transforms into science somehow, the timer mechanic is frustrating and off-putting. Why have an arbitrary time limit to solving these puzzles? Time limits are the laziest form of added difficulty and will drive away potential players once they see their progress disappear because they were too slow. I don't understand the motivation for having it there.

Even more helpful to genetics... (1)

Paul1969 (1976328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300010)

... is gamers' tendency to not reproduce. At least, not sexually.

Polynomial algorithm (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38308276)

Why would you put something that can be solved by a polynomial algorithm in a game? Finding the diff of two strings with a know cost formulea is a second order polynomial algorithm with a one order space requirement. This is not at all like fold-it, which attempts to solve a much harder problem, which most likely is not even polynomial at all.

Re:Polynomial algorithm (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313542)

Although the Multiple sequence alignment [wikipedia.org] problem (that is not with two but with many strings/sequences) is still polynomical, the time and memory requirements are high.

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