EVE Online has added a new mini-game that crowdsources players to assist in real world science.
Entitled Project Discovery, the new feature is based around identifying patterns of protein distribution in human cells. The Sisters of EVE project lead, Professor Lundberg, will guide you through a tutorial in which you learn to analyze unique images.
These are actually high-resolution images of human cells. "Your submissions are helping to improve and expand the massive Human Protein Atlas database," developer CCP Games explained.
"Project Discovery is a unique new challenge that allows the EVE community to work together in-game to provide benefits to real world science and medicine," CCP boasted of this novel merging of video game playing and genuine science experiment. "The results submitted by each player are compared with the results of other players and help to improve and expand a real life database of information of human protein data."
"When you play Project Discovery, you will help scientists understand protein function in cells by recognising patterns in protein localisation within colorful fluorescent microscopic images."
CCP isn't doing this alone, as it's collaborating with Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS) and Reykjavik University.
Cleverly, CCP has found a way of integrating this real-life science experiment within the game's fiction, as you can see towards the end of the trailer below: