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Research

You, Scientist

12.16.13

PLATFORMS

Zooniverse
https://www.zooniverse.org/
The citizen-science platform began with a single project, Galaxy Zoo, in 2007; it now hosts projects from all disciplines, from classification of whale calls to the transcription of old ship logs.

 

Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/citizen-science/
The general-audience science magazine maintains a detailed project listing for various disciplines, from evolution to space.

 

BOINC
http://boinc.berkeley.edu/projects.php
The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing allows citizen scientists to donate idle computer time to projects ranging from protein-folding to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

 

Curio
http://www.crowdcurio.com/ (launches early 2014)
A general crowdsourcing platform for citizen science; the three inaugural projects will draw from botany, medieval history, and organic chemistry.

 

ASTRONOMY

[email protected]
http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/
Donate idle computer time to search for pulsars. Hosted by BOINC.

 

Galaxy Zoo
http://zoo1.galaxyzoo.org/
Classify telescope images of galaxies by shape. Hosted by Zooniverse.

 

Be a Martian
http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov/
Tag and analyze photos from Mars. Hosted by NASA.

 

BIOLOGY

Foldit
http://fold.it/

Compete to find stable structures for medically relevant proteins.

 

eteRNA
http://eterna.cmu.edu/web/
Design molecules of RNA, a molecular cousin of DNA.

 

Phylo
http://phylo.cs.mcgill.ca/
Compare DNA sequences to help determine the tree of life.

 

Eyewire
https://eyewire.org/
Analyze images to map connections in the human brain.

 

 ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

 

eBird

eBird
http://ebird.org
Share bird sightings to help map migration patterns. (For the holiday season, consider the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count.)

 

Nature’s Notebook
https://www.usanpn.org/natures_notebook
Track backyard flora and fauna to contribute data on climate change.

 

Project Lab
http://publiclab.org/
Learn to collect and analyze your own environmental data.

 

HEALTH

Cell Slider
www.cellslider.net
Analyze microscope images of tumor samples. Hosted by Zooniverse.

 

Personal Genome Project
http://www.personalgenomes.org/
Donate your genome and health data to scientific research.

 

 

American Gut Project

American Gut Project
http://americangut.org/
Donate samples of the bacteria living in your gut.

 

HUMANITIES

Valley of the Khans
http://exploration.nationalgeographic.com/
Analyze satellite images to search for the tomb of Genghis Khan.

 

Curarium
http://www.curarium.com/ (launches 2014)
View and analyze digitized museum collections from around the world.

 

Ancient Lives
https://www.zooniverse.org/project/ancientlives
Help digitize ancient Greek and Latin papyri manuscripts. Hosted by Zooniverse.

 

PSYCHOLOGY

Test My Brain
http://www.testmybrain.org/
Take behavioral-psychology tests and receive personal feedback.

 

Games With Words
http://www.gameswithwords.org/
Participate in experiments on the nature of language, with performance feedback.

 

Lab in the Wild
http://labinthewild.org/
Contribute to research on cultural variance in design aesthetics.

 

Project Implicit
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
Assess unconscious biases and perceptions.

 

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Icebergs at the end of the Ilulissat Icefjord, Disko Bay, western Greenland.

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Photograph by iStock

Greenland’s Fingerprint in Rising Seas

Map of the expansion of Indo-European languages from a source in the highlands of West Asia.

More than 5,000 years ago, Caucasus hunter-gatherers from the highlands between the Black and Caspian Seas traveled west to Anatolia and north to the steppe, splitting their Proto-Indo-European language into two branches. From the steppe, their Yamnaya horse-herder descendants spread their language and genes into daughter languages and cultures across Eurasia. Border colors indicate the geographic origins of five source populations before their migrations (shown by correspondingly colored arrows), while the pie charts show the post-migration admixtures in these regions.

Figure reprinted with permission from I. Lazaridis et al., Science 377:939(2022). 

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Illustration of a city downwind from a fracking well

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