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Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, became a ‘citizen scientist’ today to help Cancer Research UK fight cancer.

Mr Timms, attended Cancer Research UK’s ‘Citizen Scientists’ event in the Houses of Parliament to help raise awareness of CRUK’s new advertising campaign, Research Kills Cancer. He also took a turn on the new Cell SliderTM website, which could help the charity to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

With just a few minutes and a few clicks of the mouse, Cell SliderTM is the first ever interactive website to turn real archive cancer data into a format that can be analysed by the public.

It presents real images of tumour samples in the form of a simple game of snap. Users are guided through a tutorial explaining which cells to analyse and which ones to ignore.

At the moment, the process of identifying certain molecules in cancer cells which help scientists understand why people respond differently to cancer treatment, is slow.

That’s why Cancer Research UK has launched to help accelerate groundbreaking research.

By getting the public to become ‘citizen scientists’, more samples will be analysed faster and more effectively, freeing up Cancer Research UK’s experts to carry out other cancer research. More than half a million images have already been analysed.

Cell SliderTM comes as predictions show that the number of people with cancer in the UK is set to rise steeply by 2030. Every hour, more than 3 people in London are diagnosed with cancer. 

Speaking after the event Stephen said: “This new Cell Slider initiative is vital in the fight against cancer. Research is cancer’s number one enemy, so I urge everyone in East Ham to take five minutes to visit and help Cancer Research UK’s doctors and scientists to keep making advances in the battle against all cancers. The program is easy to use, meaning everyone can play their part in helping more men, women and children survive this disease."

Cancer Research UK’s Executive Director of Policy and Information, Sarah Woolnough, said: “Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on the support of the public, so we hope would-be ‘citizen scientists’ in East Ham will really get behind this campaign.

“We’re so pleased to have the support of Stephen Timms MP with raising awareness, as there’s still so much more we need to do to ensure no-one’s life is cut short by cancer. But by boosting our ability to analyse data quickly with the help of ‘citizen scientists’, our world-class research teams will be able to develop better ways to prevent, control and cure the disease and help save many more lives.”

AuthorStephen Timms