Editor’s Choice: This is a blog post from four years ago that makes an interesting claim that the relative lack of citizen science projects in Chemistry is related to the unwillingness of most researchers in that field to carry out “open data” practices. –LFF–


Diagnosing cancer often involves identifying potentially cancerous cells in images of large cell samples taken from tissue biopsies. ‘You don’t need to be a trained pathologist, or even know anything about cancer, to learn to distinguish tumours from normal cells,’ says Iain Foulkes, executive director of strategy and research funding at Cancer Research UK. ‘We developed the Cell Slider game with the help of Zooniverse, the company behind Galaxy Zoo, so volunteers could help us analyse our huge backlog of biopsies.’ Users are first taken through a tutorial to learn to distinguish the cells required, and regular users are monitored so more weight can be given to results from the most reliable players. And the game is proving popular, with the site attracting over 20,000 unique hits in the month following its launch on 24 October 2012.

Source: People power, feature article in Chemistry World