How can we use the collaborative power found on the internet to solve scientific problems? Gamification of science is a potential solution.
*The EyeWire Games begin on Feb 13th*
"The EyeWire Games are 7 days of team competition between Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Google+ and Team X (Veterans). The team that maps the most 3D neuron volume in one week receives the ultimate reward: neuron naming rights. Your team is the social network where you discovered EyeWire."
The goals of the EyeWire project are to identify specific cell types within the known broad classes of retinal cells, and to map the connections between neurons in the retina, which will help to determine how vision works. EyeWire is part of a larger effort called WiredDifferently, whose goal is to show that the uniqueness of a person lies in the pattern of connections between their neurons, or their connectome.The first immediate goal is to reconstruct the three-dimensional shapes of retinal neurons from two-dimensional images. The second goal is to identify the synapses to determine what the connections between the mapped neurons are. The final goal is to relate the connectivity with the known activity of the neurons."
"EyeWire is an online, Citizen science, human-based computation game about tracing neurons in the retina. The game is a project developed by MIT and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, led by Dr. Sebastian Seung
This game is an interesting contribution to the solution of an important question for contemporary science:
*How to use and benefit from collaborative intelligence found in the Cloud for research*? "An important trend is that many people participate in social networks. These platforms provide the potential option of planetary scale connectivity among researchers and the ability to organize research projects solely in the cloud. The availability of high-performing computing resources, such as online cloud computing and storage platforms, grid-enabled platforms and communication channels, provides the context necessary for important innovations in modern science. As a consequence, social networks provide a context for the enormous amount of data. This dramatically expands our combined brain power, because a group of people is more likely to solve a complex problem (Nielsen). Moreover, collaboration becomes independent of our physical location, reducing the transaction costs to zero (Treuille). This new kind of research collaboration has different names such as crowdsourcing or crowdfunding, depending on the type of collaboration. A good example to that effect is the FoldIT and EteRNA games (Cooper, Treuille)." http://bit.ly/TtuNOP
Solve for X: Adrien Treuille on collaborative sciencehttp://bit.ly/ziK0YJ and Michael Nielsen, Reinventing Discovery, TheNew Era of Networked Science, Princeton University Press 2012.“Michael Nielsen argues that we are living at the dawn of the mostdramatic change in science in more than 300 years. This is beingdriven by powerful new cognitive tools, enabled by the internet, whichare greatly accelerating scientific discovery....this is the firstbook about something much more fundamental how the internet istransforming the nature of our collective intelligence and how weunderstand the world” (cover text)http://amzn.to/H74pZS
See also these interesting references about *collaborative science*: