A new citizen science project called EyesOnAlz has launched and at present, is composed of a game called Stall Catchers, in which you can examine slides of brains for stalled (i.e. blocked) blood vessels which are common in Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe that capillary stalls could be a key culprit in this disease. By reducing such stalls in mice, the researchers were able to reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms such as memory loss and mood changes.
You do not need to know lots of biology or neurology to take part; there’s a tutorial and it’s open to anybody. You will look at movies of real blood vessels in mouse brains, and search for “stalls” – clogged capillaries where blood is no longer flowing.
The website is eyesonalz.com, and there is also a discussion forum, moderated byAlice Sheppard (@penguingalaxy) from the Galaxy Zoo forum, which became known as “the politest place on the Internet”. Their twitter handle is @eyesonalz.