Every year too many New Zealanders are affected by cancer – which means we all have a vested interest in helping to finding a cure.
But what does finding a cure actually mean? One of the leading research areas is known as genomic cancer research (or the study of our DNA).
In this field, researchers look at how the similarities and differences in DNA respond to different cancer treatments. With this knowledge they aim to create more bespoke treatments to better serve their patients.
Due to advances in technology, cancer researchers now have a ‘virtual tsunami’ of data available to them to help do their study.
However to run the analysis on this complex data they require huge amounts of computing power.
That’s where the Vodafone Foundation’s DreamLab app comes in.
Every night across New Zealand millions of smartphones sit idle on people’s bedside tables. The computing power they use to make phone calls and run apps goes unused. DreamLab harnesses this latent computing power to create a virtual super computer that cancer researchers can use to run their complex data.
Watch this video that explains how DreamLab works:
Simply download the app, plug in your phone and click power DreamLab in the app.
Partnering with the Garvan Medical Institute in Australia, DreamLab is already crunching data twice as fast.
To date, kiwi’s have donated more than 50,000,000 calculations to cancer research. This analysis has lead researchers to uncover a new way of looking at mutations in cancer. Traditionally people think of cancer as being specific to a body part – i.e. lung cancer – but the analysis run by DreamLab now suggests that it is the DNA changes in an individuals cancer, not it’s tissue of origin which sheds light on how to best treat it. In real terms instead of diagnosing one of 3750 cancers, doctors may now look at 141 different DNA mutations to help treat the patients.
DreamLab is free to download, and if you’re a Vodafone mobile customer you won’t be charged for the mobile data used by the DreamLab app.
For more information visit www.vodafone.co.nz/dreamlab