EyesOnALZ is featured on The Crowd & The Cloud:
A Citizen Science project to fight Alzheimer’s
EyesOnALZ* is a citizen science project, which is crowdsourcing Alzheimer’s disease research for the Schaffer – Nishimura Lab at Cornell University. In October 2016 EyesOnALZ released its first citizen science game – Stall Catchers – which helps to open up Alzheimer’s research to the public.
* formerly known as WeCureALZ
Our citizen science games are being built on two existing platforms, stardust@home and EyeWire. We are using data acquired by researchers at the Schaffer – Nishimura Lab and feeding them into the game platforms for crowdsourcing.
This work is supported by the BrightFocus Foundation and its generous donors.
(More in Meet the Team section)
EyesOnALZ project is led by the Human Computation Institute, and includes collaborators from the Schaffer-Nishimura Lab at Cornell University, Sebastian Seung’s Laboratory at Princeton University, the stardust@home team at U.C. Berkeley, SciStarter.com, and WiredDifferently.
Stall Catchers is the first game developed by EyesOnALZ. The game will allow participants to look at movies of real blood vessels in mouse brains, and search for “stalls” – clogged capillaries where blood is no longer flowing. By “catching stalls” participants will be able to build up their score, level up, compete in the game leaderboard, and receive digital badges for their various achievements.
Everyone who participates will contribute to Alzheimer’s research at the Schaffer-Nishimura Laboratory (Cornell Dept. of Biomedical Engineering), and help speed up the search for an Alzheimer’s cure by orders of magnitude.
Stall Catchers – Quick Facts
- Stall Catchers is the first citizen science game where the public is directly engaged in analyzing Alzheimer’s disease research data
- Stall Catchers was built on one of the first volunteer thinking platforms – stardust@home
- In the first 5 months since Stall Catchers went live, over 3000 participants joined the game
- Stall Catchers players range from 8 to 88 years old
- In Stall Catchers, participants look at movies of real blood vessels in mouse brains, and search for “stalls” – clogged capillaries where blood is no longer flowing
- The research focus of Stall Catchers – the role of reduced blood flow in the brain – has shown promise in reducing and preventing Alzheimer’s symptoms
- By engaging citizen scientists in this important research, we could reduce the time to discover Alzheimer’s treatment targets from decades to just a few years
- It currently takes 15-20 annotations per vessel to determine a reliable crowd score
- The crowd answers exceed the minimum required accuracy (95%) for discriminating flowing and stalled vessels, suggesting the answers of Stall Catchers players are as reliable as those of experts
- Stall Catchers can be played by anyone, and any contribution, big or small, can make a difference
Past press releases:
- Stall Catchers #CrushALZ Team Competition – Invitation for organizations & communities to create teams , April 2017
- Stall Catchers #CrushALZ Team Competition – Press release, EMBARGO until April 6 2017
- The Crowd & The Cloud PBS documentary on citizen science – Press release, March 2017
- Stall Catchers launch – Press release, Oct 1 2016. Interview about launch: https://youtu.be/IQRFr72JjxE