DreamLab users help accelerate cancer research

4 October 2018

The Vodafone Foundation announced today users of the DreamLab app have helped cancer researchers finish Project Genetic Profile, focused on calculating genetic similarities between brain, lung, melanoma and sarcoma cancers well ahead of schedule. Researchers will now use the app to help with Project Demystify, which will seek to connect the dots between physical human traits and their genetic basis.

Dr Warren Kaplan, Chief of Informatics at the Garvan Institute, said the DreamLab app showed the power of ‘citizen science’ – where members of the community make a tangible impact on research progress.

“Cancer is a disease of the DNA, and to understand more about cancer, how to detect, diagnose and treat it better, we must analyse data from sequencing or ‘decoding’ the DNA of cancer patients. It’s incredibly motivating and encouraging to see how many of our friends from across the Tasman have supported our research endeavour.”

Active DreamLab app users helped contribute towards more than 20 million research calculations, with New Zealanders contributing over 220,000 dreaming sessions – a terrific effort by the little computers in our pockets.

Vodafone Foundation Manager, Lani Evans, said it is heart-warming to see how engaged Kiwis are with the DreamLab app. 

“We are absolutely in awe of how many Kiwis got on board and showed their support – their engagement meant the data was calculated three times faster than it would have otherwise taken*.

“With one in two Kiwis set to be touched by cancer directly at some stage in their life, we see Garvan’s research as vital to improving the health of the nation. With Project Genetic Profile completing so quickly, it points to the power of handheld technology, combined with leading scientists, to make medical advances in timeframes modern science has not seen before.” Evans said.

Earlier this year, DreamLab users helped researchers complete Project Decode, which involved understanding cancer based on a patient’s DNA profile rather than the tissue in which their cancer started. Results from Project Decode will be released in the coming month, which will include findings from Project Genetic Profile.

Lani encourages New Zealanders to continue to support the DreamLab app:  “We hope more Kiwis get on-board and keep ‘dreaming’ on the app to help Project Demystify process the data. This technology has the potential to positively impact so many areas of our lives with the research it can assist.  This is just the beginning.”

For more on how the Vodafone DreamLab app works, how to download it, and what you can do to say goodnight to cancer, head to www.vodafone.co.nz/dreamlab now.

 

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:

  • *Calculation based on a typical allocation of computing resources.
  • Anyone can use the app, and if you’re a Vodafone mobile customer you won’t be charged for mobile data used by DreamLab.
  • A compatible handset is required. Downloading DreamLab will consume data. Once downloaded, DreamLab can be used when your device (i) is connected to a charging source and (ii) has mobile network or WiFi connectivity. Mobile data to use DreamLab is free for Vodafone New Zealand mobile customers on the Vodafone New Zealand network. Roaming incurs international rates.
  • Privacy - For the DreamLab privacy statement, please see the DreamLab Privacy page via www.vodafone.co.nz/dreamlab
  • End User Terms - For the full list of end user terms and conditions please visit our DreamLab User Terms page via www.vodafone.co.nz/dreamlab
  • By downloading, installing or otherwise using the DreamLab application on your Device, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you do not agree to be bound by these Terms, you should not download, install or otherwise use DreamLab Application.
  • How Vodafone DreamLab works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRZJbTnGR80&feature=youtu.be

About The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation:

The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation has invested more than $27million in New Zealand communities and wants to ensure all New Zealanders have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.  For more information please visit: https://foundation.vodafone.co.nz/

About the Garvan Institute of Medical Research:

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is one of Australia's largest medical research institutions and is at the forefront of next-generation genomic DNA sequencing in Australia. Garvan’s main research areas are: cancer, diabetes and metabolism, genomics and epigenetics, immunology and inflammation, osteoporosis and bone biology, and neuroscience. Garvan’s mission is to make significant contributions to medical science that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health.

DreamLab users help accelerate cancer research