Do you want to play a game?
April 12, 2019 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Crowd source investigating images of tiny capillaries and shorten thousands of hours of Alzheimer's research to one afternoon. The Megathon is a “mega catching marathon” in Stall Catchers – a citizen science game that anyone can play to help speed up Alzheimer's research. Learn more about the game here. "Catchathons" gather communities worldwide for intense "catching marathons", breaking records while analyzing new data from Cornell University. With everyone pitching in, we can accelerate the research by orders of magnitude.

Our Catchathon is going MEGA for Citizen Science Day 2019. Public libraries, schools, senior living centers, and people everywhere will work together for one hour to answer a key research question about Alzheimer's disease that would normally take scientists an entire year!

The Megathon will take place on April 13, 2019, 1.30-3.30pm ET.
posted by waving (22 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
That's tomorrow!
posted by amtho at 7:32 PM on April 12


I remember doing a bit of this via the EVE online game GUI. Searching data for noise that could indicate planets for scientists to look at more closely. I wonder whatever came of those projects...
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:54 PM on April 12


Meanwhile CAPTCHA is still asking me to identify cars, street signs, and storefronts years later.
posted by ejs at 7:58 PM on April 12 [13 favorites]


And buses, since AI apparently still can't reliably identify large rectangular shapes with a couple of circular shapes along the bottom.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:08 PM on April 12


Hey, free error checking is free error checking.

Click faster brain peasant
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:12 PM on April 12 [12 favorites]


This is what the digital revolution was all about, baby!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:45 PM on April 12


And buses, since AI apparently still can't reliably identify large rectangular shapes with a couple of circular shapes along the bottom.

If you have something that does this quickly and reliably, there are lots of people who’d write you an 8 or 9 figure check for it.
posted by sideshow at 10:37 PM on April 12


Did this decades ago with several computers for Folding at Home iirc. Never heard how that turned out?
posted by CrowGoat at 10:42 PM on April 12


The "game" itself is not easy. I can definitely see why they need lots of eyes on it.
When I was in UX school I wrote my final paper about special considerations for the design of these types of interfaces and I was super unsure about whether or not it was a good or legit topic to write about, and my professors were super apathetic and I got no feedback at all. But now that I'm looking at this like, of course it was, it was a really good topic. It's actually really important. Anyway.
posted by bleep at 11:06 PM on April 12 [16 favorites]


If you have something that does this quickly and reliably, there are lots of people who’d write you an 8 or 9 figure check for it.

Well of course I do - it's called a "brain", but so far nobody has offered me that kind of money to use it on their behalf. So here I sit doing Captchas for free like a chump.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:53 PM on April 12 [5 favorites]


This is frickin hard and i don't seem to be improving at it either. i better quit before i misdiagnose something.
posted by capnsue at 1:53 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Did this decades ago with several computers for Folding at Home iirc. Never heard how that turned out?

It seems like it continues to get more useful, but is still in its infancy as far as practical impact on research goes.
posted by howfar at 4:29 AM on April 13


This is challenging but does have me addicted. Had a hard time putting it down.hoping for an aha moment that I conquered the "blocked" versus "flowing" call out.
posted by waving at 6:39 AM on April 13


Sea Hero Quest (trailer) is another game designed to assist in medical research; it's free for iPhone, Android, and Oculus.

One of the first symptoms of dementia is loss of navigational skills. But comparative data on normal navigational ability was lacking. So, this game is designed to gather baseline data from people of all ages, genders, and nationalities. [They want to make very clear that the game is not intended for diagnostic purposes.]

I played it for a while, and it's pretty fun. Decent achievements to keep people playing, and no in-app purchases.
posted by cheshyre at 6:43 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]


I heard an interview on NPRs Science Friday yesterday that their goal is to have 100, 000 people logged in today, Saturday, from 1:30-3:30, to get a large chunk of the images analyzed. Fun times!
posted by waving at 6:46 AM on April 13


I didn't find a Team MetaFilter so I made one.
posted by biogeo at 9:54 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]


Thanks! Go Team MetaFilter!

But, man, is that site having problems...
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:05 AM on April 13


Sea hero quest isn’t available in the US Apple store :(
posted by itesser at 11:06 AM on April 13


Server is in much better shape right now. But Team Metafilter still only has 2 members.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:04 PM on April 13


Oh sweet mercy - Stall Catchers is just 'drawing' or identifying events in microphotographs or videos.

The most time consuming part of my PhD was split between taking fluorescent confocal micrographs and 'drawing' them to measure controls and experimental results from manipulated primary mouse neurons grown on glass coverslips in vitro.

It's tedious as EXPLETIVE and I ended up writing a lot of algorithms to automate a lot of it, but 'drawing,' literally using a mouse pointer to mask off a section(s) of an image to do the actual analysis on, had to be done by hand.

I have complicated feelings about this endeavour. It's very Tom Sawyer convincing Ben that fence painting is fun.

Can't find any "gameplay" video and I'm not going to sign up, but the quality of my results was highly dependent on my drawing accurately and consistently, of which speed is an enemy.
posted by porpoise at 6:08 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


I played a couple of hours last night and voted major points for TeamMetafilter. I definitely got better at identifying the "not moving dark spots" versus the moving dark spots. Cool
posted by waving at 9:34 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Glad to see the megathon was extended through today! It wouldn't load well for me yesterday.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 11:12 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


« Older Advanced Sci-Fi Civilizations Too Stupid To Really...   |   Thanks to Galperin, install antivirus. And it may... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.