Help cancer research with the ‘Genes in Space’ Android game and ‘Power Sleep’ app

BY Adrian Diaconescu

Published 20 Feb 2014

Genes in SpaceMost of you probably don’t need noble incentives to motivate you to play more games on your Android devices, but what if there was a way to help real-life cancer research by navigating through made-up space? How about if I also told you a completely free of charge app can make anyone a part of worldwide scientific research without the smallest effort being needed? It’s so effortless in fact, it works while you sleep.

Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but you better believe it, as both “Play to Cure: Genes in Space” and “Power Sleep” are up for grabs in Google Play. The former, developed by Cancer Research UK, is on the surface a fairly enjoyable arcade/action game where the purpose is to collect as much “Element Alpha” as possible in cosmos.

What that mysterious element actually represents is genetic cancer data, which a gamer can basically analyze without even knowing it, thus helping reduce the time regularly required for extensive scientific studies.

The more you play, the less it takes scientists to find cures for all types of cancer. Yes, in real life. Guess you now know what excuse to employ next time someone hassles you to get off the phone. Just don’t use “Genes in Space” (only) as an excuse.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s “Power Sleep” app is a little less entertaining, as it contains no retro-looking customizable space ships, but in the long run, it sets similarly grand goals for itself. In a nutshell, smartphone users allow it to harvest tiny bits of CPU power and transfer the results (no more than 1 MB in size), which are added to a “supercloud computer”.

More specifically, the data packets are first sent to dormant gadgets at night from the University of Vienna servers, and returned with protein calculations and information for research of cancer and Alzheimer’s remedies. All personal data on your phones is fully secure, so fret not, as no harm can come by seeking the greater good.

Via [Cancer Research UK], [Samsung]