In the first two weeks volunteer catchers have helped to analyze thousands of brain blood vessel movies, which would have taken weeks or months to analyze in the lab.
But there's a lot of work still to be done.
Stall Catchers is now in what we call the Stage I: Validation Study. That simply means that we need to:
- Make sure the crowd answers are as good as experts (all our early calculations say YES - yay!)
- Find out how many answers we need to pool to get a reliable crowd answer. In other words - is it enough if 5 people agree on one vessel movie? 10? 20?
The sooner we complete the Validation study, the sooner we can use Stall Catchers to answer real research questions that have been lining up at the Schaffer-Nishimura Lab!
Can we complete it in 30 days or less?
To help us reach our goal, head straight to Stall Catchers and start annotating!
And, of course, invite your friends! Here's some quick links for sharing the 30 days challenge on social media:
We will keep you posted about how well we're doing!
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Why is "validation" important?
Stalls are very rare in Alzheimer's brain, but each is extremely important. Stalls - clogged blood vessels - reduce blood flow to many downstream vessels in the brain, sometimes costing up to 30% of total blood flow.
That way, stalls could influence many processes in the brain, including clearance of amyloid beta - the peptide responsible for toxic plaque formation in Alzheimer's-affected brain.
Read more about the science behind Stall Catchers here.
Figuring out where they stalls are and why do they occur will help us to get closer to reducing and preventing them, which could for the first time help us treat Alzheimer's.
We need to make sure we are not missing any stalls!
Pooling crowd answers will help us make sure we don't accidentally miss any stalls, or produce too many false positives. And we'd like to know how many answers is enough, so we don't keep you all annotating the same vessels over and over again!
We are using the Validation study to get the magic number for Stall Catchers. :)
After we complete the validation we will start uploading more real data into the game & start answering research questions that have not been possible to study until now due to the extremely time-consuming data annotation step.
We need YOUR help to get there faster! The sooner we complete this, the sooner we can start doing real Alzheimer's research.