Genigma

Description

The human genome is a sequence of 3,000 million letters folded in three dimensions. Its sequence and folding in the space determine how our cells work. We know that in cancer cells the rearrangements of the genetic material (e.g. chromosome translocations) occur and modify the “original” sequence leading to alterations in the vital functions of our cells. Currently, basic rearrangements are done by machines, with algorithms that find the best solution to figure out the cancer cells sequence. However, algorithms also fail, and scientists usually use manual systems to improve results since human eyes perform much better than machines in identifying visual patterns.

Citizen science is a very new approach for this field, with very great potential for such a challenging scientific research.

Genigma is a pilot project in the framework of the H2020  ORION Open Science project. Currently, the project is running playtests with citizens before launching (planned for April 2021).

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Aim

Genigma is a co-created game for smartphones to assembly with citizens the 3D genomes of most used cell lines for cancer research. Cancer specific genomic references will help to advance in basic research and offer valid tools to be used for a more personal medicine.

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How to participate

Citizens will solve research matrices, looking for the best position in space for the pieces.

Each piece is, in reality, a genomic fragment and the challenge is to achieve a better solution than the algorithms and to determine among all the players what is the organisation in space and sequence of the DNA of cancer cells.

This will help to identify which parts of the genome are altered (compared to a non-cancer genome) by the disease. 

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Equipment

Smartphone (Android or IOS)

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