Although our beta experiment has ended, the wonderful people who’ve joined Mark2Cure are still going strong about helping us. That energy and enthusiasm is inspiring, and we’d love to have your input as we develop Mark2Cure for the next phase.
The next launch of Mark2Cure is going to be big! (ok, maybe small by Zooniverse’s standards, but big for us!) Many Mark2Curators have offered us assistance and we will take all the help we can get. If you love to share on social media channels or have access to other venues you feel are appropriate for Mark2Cure, we’d love for you to join our Street & Tweet team and help us spread the word about Mark2Cure. If you are in San Diego and want to share your input as we develop the tutorials for the next phase, we’d love to have you as part of our User Experience team. If you’re not in San Diego, you can join our Virtual User Experience team.
Glioblastoma Multiforme is one of the most common and difficult to treat forms of brain cancer. Because it’s often aggressive and deadly, researchers (like the ones responsible for this week’s BioGPS featured article) have been working hard to uncover new therapeutic approaches for treating this disease. In this study, researchers employed proteomic profiling in conjunction with a technology termed >“bioorthogonal chemical reporter” (BOCR) strategy and LFQ-MS in order to analyze cell surface sialoglycoproteins in cells derived from GBM tumor patients.
Because of the amazing ways in which our Mark2Curators have contributed, we’re now approaching the end of the beta experiment. Since our last post on Tuesday, we’ve gone from 56% completion to ~80% completion of the beta experiment. THANK YOU, Mark2Curators, please continue to contribute and help us finish it!
After demonstrating that citizen scientists have what it takes to get the work done, our next step will be to demonstrate that the work done by Mark2Curators can be incredibly valuable to the research community. In this next phase, we expect to tackle NGLY1 and sincerely hope that you will help researchers answer questions about this rare genetic disease. Learn more about NGLY1 here.
The NGLY1 community has been very active in Mark2Cure. Matthew and Cristina Might have been working hard over the years to find cure for their son (and the first patient diagnosed with this disease), Bertrand. You can read more about their incredible story here and here. Matthew and other researchers studying NGLY1 have provided us with questions they think can be answered by the work of Mark2Curators like yourself. Cristina has helped a lot to recruit contributors and introduced Mark2Cure to contacts at the Missouri Military Academy (Team MMA, you guys rock!)
Once the beta experiment ends, our email updates may be less frequent in order to avoid annoying anyone. For those who are interested in keeping up with the newest developments in Mark2Cure, please visit the Mark2Cure blog which we will continue to update on a weekly basis. We will post the results of our beta experiment here as soon as they’re available.
Check out Andrew’s interview on with Daniel Levine on RARECast!
Here’s some quick background for this week’s BioGPS featured article. transcription factors play an important role in gene expression, but there’s still a lot to be learned with regards to how they actually work.
The authors of this paper chose to use mouse haematopoiesis as a model for learning more about how transcription factors work because the spacing between DNA binding motifs has been reported to be functionally important in mouse haematopoiesis.
Mark2Curators have been busy! Over the weekend, our volunteers brought the current beta experiment from about 28% completion to over 50% completion. We’ve gotten excellent feedback from you and are working to improve on the issues and suggestions you’ve sent us! Thank you and keep them coming!!!
We now have over a hundred registered Mark2Curators who have shared compelling reasons as to why they Mark2Cure.
If we categorize the reasons, they look something like this:
We know all of our Mark2curators are altruistic, else they wouldn’t be contributing, but many have their reasons for doing so. For over half of our Mark2Curators, the primary motivation for contributing is to help others! How awesome is that? About half of our Mark2Curators were motivated by their interested in health and science. About 25% of our Mark2Curators were motivated by disease ties, with >70% of the disease ties being rare diseases. If you’re wondering why the sum of the percentages is over 100%, it’s because many reasons cannot neatly be contained by a single category.
Adverse effects are one of many reasons why drug development is so expensive, and one reason why this week’s BioGPS Featured article is so interesting.
The drug development process typically looks something like this:
Not only does it take a long time to develop a drug, the risk of failure is quite high and each failure is costly. According to a study last year in Nature Biotechnology, about 10% of all indication development paths make it through phase I clinical trials (looking at safety) successfully. Because of the small numbers in Phase I, it’s hard to determine if observed side effects are general or patient-specific.
This week’s featured article aims to use multi-omics to “estimate the systemic impact (side/adverse events) of (novel) therapeutic targets.” The researchers focus on rheumatoid arthritis which is a very complex disease and also accounts for 20% of the Top 10 clinical trial failures in 2013 as ranked by the size of the writedowns associated with the trial outcome.
The San Diego Union Tribune did a nice little article on Mark2Cure, which helped us reach a lot of local citizen scientist volunteers. If you missed the article, you can read it here.
If you joined Mark2Cure because of the UT San Diego, THANK YOU, and please help spread the word! The article has been tremendously helpful in allowing us to reach new volunteers, but unless our citizen science volunteers continue to contribute, we will not be able to succeed. If you, like other volunteers are worried about not having a science background, please don’t worry about it! You DON’T need a science background to contribute.