Play to Cure: Genes in Space

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Play to Cure™: Genes in Space is the world’s first free mobile game that uses the collective force of players to analyse real genetic data and help beat cancer sooner.

The game

The mission of Genes in Space is to collect a fictional substance dubbed Element Alpha. This represents genetic cancer data, which might underpin certain types of cancer.

As a recruit of the game’s ‘Bifrost Industries’, your mission is to collect the valuable and tradable substance Element Alpha and rise through the employee ranks by:

  • Mapping your route through the densest areas of Element Alpha.
  • Following your route as you fly through space collecting as much Element Alpha as you can, destroying asteroids along the way.
  • Avoiding and shooting asteroids to get to the next level of Element Alpha collection.
  • Upgrading your ship to become more powerful and trading your Element Alpha for more points.

Download from Apple App Store

Download from Google Play

The science behind the game

The data analysis goes back to our scientists at two key points:

  • firstly when you map your route through the Element Alpha
  • secondly when you fly your spaceship through the intergalactic space course to collect this substance.

By playing Genes in Space you’ll be analysing significant amounts of genetic data which would have taken scientists hours to do. This data can then be used to develop new life saving treatments.

Read more about the science behind the game.

How we got there

In March 2013, a team of Cancer Research UK, Amazon Web Services, Facebook and Google developers joined academics, scientists, gamers and designers for a weekend called GameJam to create a fun, engaging game that translates data. From here, we took the ideas and developed what is now Genes in Space. Watch the video to see the journey.

Jonathon Fulkerson
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About Jonathon Fulkerson

After 15+ years as an IT professional. Jonathon decided to return to school in hopes of one day troubleshooting the most universal problem effecting all. Death, pain, and suffering by aging. As an undergraduate he is currently performing research in Dr. Richard Bennetts lab at the University of Southern Indiana, as well as volunteering for various organizations including the Buck Institute for research on Aging.

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