Phoenix-Area Libraries Offer Citizen Science Equipment, Activities
This Saturday, several Phoenix-area libraries will participate in the Megathon, a citizen-science project to help speed up Alzheimer's disease research.
The event is one example of the citizen science resources available through local libraries.
Megathon participants will use a computer program called "Stall Catchers" to help identify clogged blood vessels, or "stalls," in the brain scans of Alzheimer's patients.
Taking a crowdsourced approach to such a time-consuming process could greatly speed research in the area, whether participants work from home or team up using the libraries' free computers and Wi-Fi.
Robin Salthouse, adult services supervisor of the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert, says it's just one more way libraries have evolved to offer more than books.
"We're not only a place for books and DVDs; we're also a place of things. So we have binoculars, telescopes, these citizen science kits," she said.
Science kit subjects include researching biodiversity, mapping streams and monitoring air quality.
All four campuses of Arizona State University will also take part in the Megathon.
Additional details on this and other citizen science events are available at SciStarter.