When gamers become cancer researchers

Since the end of January 2022, video game players have been participating in the GENIGMA Challenge. Much more than a simple gaming competition, it is a challenge that will allow collect scientific data can help in cancer research.

Proposed by the CRG and e CNAG-CRG, the competition was launched on January 29 on iOS and Android. You still have to be good at English, Spanish, Catalan or Italian to be able to participate.

30 months of preparation for this project

This project is not new. For a competition and research of such magnitude, it took 30 months of preparations. Researchers from the Center for Genomic Regulation or CRG and those from the Centro National de Analisis Gemonico or CNAG-CRG have collaborated with experts in video game creation to make all this possible.

The game has been fine-tuned to be accessible to everyone.

“Anyone with a smartphone anywhere in the world can free download GENIGMA and make a direct contribution to research, putting his logic and dexterity at the service of science. »

Élisabeth Broglio, animator at the CRG

So you don’t need to be a professional gamer to access the app. You just have to understand the language. The more players there are, the more fruitful the search will be.

To update the genomic map on cancer studies

For gamers, it’s simple! Simply answer puzzles and correctly place the blocks. On the scientific side, data collection is a little more complex.

In order to allow detect connection problems of genomic sequencesthe puzzles have been created to stimulate players and allow them to update the reference genomic map for cancer research.

“Cell lines are responsible for the discovery of vaccines, chemotherapy against cancer or IVF against infertility. This makes it a mainstay of modern biology. »

Marc A. Mart-Renown

GENIGMA makes it possible to use artificial intelligence to update the reference map used to study these lines. The principle consists in finding a sequence where the players are numerous and where the scores are high. This would be proof of the presence ofa cancerous cell line and a possible solution to cure it.


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