Science Through Gaming: Demonpore Ventures Into New Realms of Citizen Science
By Jane Kuszmaul
For many citizen science means experimenting with different products or foods in their own lives to see how their health reacts. The makers of Demonpore have something more ambitious in mind.
Frustrated with the exclusivity and expense of molecular lab equipment, these leading biological scientists not only developed affordable machinery for data collection, but also a whole new way of analyzing samples.
They envision people from around the world with their molecular gaming consoles playing video games that disguise the fact that they are analyzing data from their collective, global experiment. The Demonpore consoles use nanopore technology to run these experiments.
More than just gaming, the console collects samples from whatever is around you. Everything from dust to blood it seems can be put into the console, and then into the global network. From there, the molecular composition will be analyzed through various highly interactive games.
Currently, they are fundraising for the launch next summer of their first round of consoles. They have a mighty goal of curing disease and saving the world, but don’t we all? If they can pull off such a widespread endeavour, the results would certainly change the way we approach research.
That being said, many details are still forthcoming, such as how they plan to deal with the contamination of samples, and how they plan to control for quality. Hopefully, these are simply kinks to be worked out, and we can all gain further insight into our bodies and our surroundings through Citizen Science like this.
Learn more about Demonpore here.