The site recruits people to support projects in fields such as physics, astronomy, zoology, and the social sciences.
huge scale. People can search large amounts of data, collect and classify data, and make scientific contributions that computers cannot. They may also contact researchers in discussion forums where their opinions and observations feed further research.
The site has more than 1
.7 million registered users who have so far classified over 439 million pieces of data. One popular project is the Galaxy Zoo, where volunteers classify telescopic images of distant galaxies. Bash the Bug, another beloved volunteer, helps researchers figure out which antibiotics can treat different strains of tuberculosis in an attempt to fight off new drug-resistant strains.
All this has led to numerous published studies. Exoplanet Explorers, a project dedicated to finding new planets, has identified many candidates for the planet and the entire K2-288Bb planet, located 226 light-years away.
From 2012 to 2014, another project, Cell Slider, looked a lot closer to home, and I showed how crowdsourcing can help fight cancer. At that time, volunteers classified more than 180,000 microscopic images of human cells – and proved accurate as trained pathologists in identifying cancer cells and tumors.
It's easy to get started: Just pick a project, complete a quick training, and start contributing to your computer or mobile phone. Get started on Zooniverse.org.
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