"Citizen scientists" from 179 different countries have signed up to help British researchers try to unlock the mysteries behind cancer.

In just five days more than 75,000 gamers have downloaded the world's first smartphone game designed to unravel genetic data of cancer patients.

Developed by Dundee agency Guerilla Tea, the Cancer Research UK game Play To Cure: Genes In Space is set 800 years in the future. Players are challenged to steer their spaceship to collect a valuable material called Element Alpha.

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Gamers map out their route with the aim of collecting as much Element Alpha as possible. As they navigate their craft through space they are actually mapping out genetic data, which will be analysed by scientists.

At present, the app is the 57rd most popular free app on the Apple App Store and the 30th top new free app on Google Play.