Citizen Science: Public to join cancer cure hunt


Giants of the technology world and cancer researchers are teaming up to come up with ways to let the general public hunt for cures for cancer.

It is an attempt to mirror some of the success in unleashing the public in the hunt for objects in space.

Cancer Research UK, along with Amazon, Facebook and Google, is trying to get people to search for mutations in DNA which lead to cancer.

The data needs to be analysed by eye, but there are not enough scientists.

There has been rapid progress in working out the exact sequence of a tumour’s DNA.

Combining this information from multiple tumours allows researchers to hunt for the critical mutations which turn a normal healthy part of the body into a deadly cancer.

But the amount of data involved is massive and computers cannot find the subtle differences which may give clues to the genetic causes of cancers, which in turn can lead to treatments.

Written By: James Gallagher
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