Smartphone Game Tricks Players Into Becoming Cancer Researchers [Video]

Genes in Space is an enjoyable game that does more than just pass the time on long commutes.

Ross Brooks
Ross Brooks on February 5, 2014. @greenidealism

Most smartphone games are a good way to pass the time, but it’s unlikely you will change the world with a game like Candy Crush. Genes in Space on the other hand, is a unique and enjoyable game that you can download and play for free that actually helps scientists analyze real-life data and spot patterns in genetic information.

Developed by Cancer Research UK, the game is first and foremost fun to play, but also makes every single player a cancer researcher in their own right. Scientists and gaming experts worked together for months to build the game, which on the surface is a simple and entertaining caper through space, but holds a much deeper purpose.


Racking up the combined data crunching power of what the team hopes will be thousands of casual gamers, scientists will be able to spot the subtle patterns, peaks, and troughs in the data which correspond to DNA faults. Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the video to see the game in action.


TOPICS: Science, Web & Technology
Ross Brooks

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Ross is a freelance writer who specializes in topics about the environment, architecture, art, design and creative tech. He is passionate about making a difference with his writing, whether that’s to encourage social change, promote a great idea, or just share a little bit of beauty with the world. You can also find his work on Inhabitat and