New computer game lets anyone contribute to scientific research

September 30, 2013

McGill University professors Jérôme Waldispühl and Mathieu Blanchette have created an online computer game that allows them to recruit non-scientists to help solve a DNA sequence alignment problem. Their game, called Phylo, a “visual cross between Tetris and Connect Four,” asks players to slide coloured blocks – representing DNA, Ribonucleic acid (RNA) and proteins – back and forth to align them with other similarly coloured blocks, while trying to leave as few, if any, gaps between them. Crowd-sourced projects like Phylo are being promoted as a cost-effective and innovative way to garner contributions to scientific research, reports the Globe and Mail. Globe and Mail