Science of Stall Catchers: discovery-based or hypothesis-driven?

We received an interesting question from one of our catchers, tova, about whether Stall Catchers is based on discovery-based or hypothesis-driven science.

I thought it might be interesting for everyone to know that, so here is Pietro's answer to that below!

It's primarily hypothesis-driven.

We engage in two types of research in the EyesOnALZ project: human computation (crowdsourcing science) and biomedical research. Crowdsourcing science is about answering hypothesis-driven inquiries, such as "if we combine answers from many different people in this way, can we produce an expert-like answer more efficiently?" The biomedical work is about testing hypotheses such as "this drug will reduce the number of stalled capillaries in a mouse with Alzheimer's disease".

However, we are very open to the possibility of discoveries along the way. Indeed, the observed higher rate of stalled capillaries in mice with Alzheimer's disease was actually a serendipitous discovery made by an undergraduate laboratory technician in the Schaffer-Nishimura Lab at Cornell University. It was this discovery that prompted the ongoing investigation into capillary stalls that seems to be leading to a possible treatment.

We are also interested in creating opportunities for Stall Catchers players to make their own discoveries, so we are building new features into the platform so that conversations can be built around specific vessels and their hemodynamics.

Here's the thread on it on our forum to keep the discussion going:

Keep the interesting questions coming in our forum everyone!!

Egle (seplute)

Citizen Science Coordinator at EyesOnALZ, crazy about democratization of science & community participation :)


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