Online game to help with genetic code

Nov. 29, 2010 at 7:56 PM
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MONTREAL, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Computer game players can have fun and contribute to genetic research with an on-line computer game that analyzes genetic sequences, Canadian researchers say.

Scientists at McGill University in Montreal say the game, called Phylo, was launched Monday after testing within the scientific community to ensure its accuracy, a university release said.

"There are some calculations that the human brain does more efficiently than any computer can, such as recognizing a face," Jerome Waldispuhl of the School of Computer Science says.

"Recognizing and sorting the patterns in the human genetic code falls in that category. Our new online game enables players to have fun while contributing to genetic research -- players can even choose which genetic disease they want to help decode."

The game uses players' moves and actions while playing to analyze genetic sequences.

"We're hoping that people will enjoy playing the game and that many participants will sign up," Waldispuhl said. "This is an opportunity for people to use their free time to contribute in an extremely important way to medical research."

Waldispuhl says he has high hopes for the future of the game.

"We would like to integrate this game directly into Facebook as an application. Farmville, move over!"

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