The newly designed Dicty Race will leverage the advantages of cloud-based computing and some amazing microscopes that stream images to the cloud. In the qualifying stage, participants will run experiments in their lab using microscopes and microfluidic mazes that we will be providing. Real time image analysis will show results and how well their cells are doing in comparison with their peers. After one month of “qualifying” games, we will pick up the top 12 teams for the “finals” Boston. The competition in Boston, broadcast and analyzed in real time, will find a winner for the fastest and smartest cells. Besides the dicty, we will have similar races for the HL60s, mouse neutrophils and human neutrophils. The winner team will receive a $3,000 line of credit from our sponsor, Biotechne (former R&D).
Besides the fun competition, the Dicty Race will enable the first-ever crowd-sourced effort to fill a critical gap in our knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of cell motility. Quantum tasks performed in a large number of individual labs will help build a significant database in the cloud of cell types and motility phenotypes. From this database new correlations between mutations and cell motility phenotype (speed, directionality, etc) will emerge, advancing our understanding of cell migration.