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Your Smartphone Could Help Cure Cancer While You Sleep


Wired.co.uk
A new app developed by Vodafone Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has promised to put your phone to amazing use overnight. When charging, the DreamLab app automatically downloads genetic sequencing profiles, crunches the numbers, and then sends them back to the Garvan Institute. 

The collaboration and development has been three years in the making, and allows you to choose which types of cancer to support and how much data you would like to donate and this in turn will contribute to the solving of small problems that have a big impact on cancer research. 

The potential power generated by the app is certainly news-worthy; researchers compared it to a that of a supercomputer. With 100,000 app installs, researchers would be able to process data 3,000 times faster than at present. With 5 million users, that would increase to 150,000 times. At present, the app is only available on Android.

"As a nation who loves their smartphones, we now have a tremendous opportunity to put them to good use and help find a cure for cancer. Together, we can come to a greater understanding of how to treat it more swiftly," Dr. Samantha Oakes, head of the breast cancer unit at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, said in the statement. "With the help of game-changing innovations like DreamLab, I am hopeful that we will see cures of certain types of cancer in our lifetime."

So much smartphone usage revolves solely around the user, so this innovative idea is a great way to use your phone in a way that can greatly benefit others. The best thing is, you don't even have to sacrifice the time you would be using on your phone normally, as DreamLab is an app intended to work when your phone is idle.

Other apps out there have used similar models to harness our smartphone's power when not needed: Folding@Home also uses processing power in "the search for groundbreaking cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer and infectious diseases like Ebola", and SETI@Home even uses a similar process in order to capture data about extraterrestrial intelligence.



SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF


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Your Smartphone Could Help Cure Cancer While You Sleep Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Friday, November 13, 2015 Rating: 5

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