Structured gene annotations are a foundation on which many bioinformatics and statistical analyses are built, however their representation is quite sparse – in comparison to the total knowledge that could be captured. As centralized biocuration efforts struggle to keep up with the rate of biomedical data generation, new models for gene annotation need to be explored.
Recently, online games have emerged as an effective way to recruit, engage and organize contributors to help address difficult challenges like online image tagging (ESP Game), protein folding (Foldit), or multiple sequence alignment (Phylo).
We present here two online games - Dizeez and GenESP - aimed at identifying novel gene-disease annotations, i.e. gene-disease links well established in the literature, but not yet reflected as structured annotations. Preliminary results are provided from game play online and at scientific confer-ences. These data suggest that even after limited game play, novel gene-disease annotations can be mined from game playing logs.
Both games are available at http://genegames.org.