Folding@Home was always a noble way to spend your CPU's (and eventually GPU's) idle cycles, but it was no good for heavy PC gamers who spend much of their time at their rig, unless you wanted to leave it on over night and then you're just paying for the research with your electricity.
A perfect solution then, would be to make it possible to run such a simulation while you game, or even better, make the game itself the simulation. That's what Cancer Research UK has done.
In its new game, Play to Cure: Genes in Space, the levels themselves match up to gene microarrays and as you traverse them in your space ship and collect "element alpha", you are finding significant genetic changes which can potentially help scientists discover cures for a variety of cancers.
"Every single second gamers spend playing our smartphone game directly helps our work to beat cancer sooner," Cancer Research UK spokesperson Hannah Keartland explained. "Our scientists' research produces colossal amounts of data, some of which can only be analysed by the human eye - a process which can take years.
"We urge people to give two minutes of their time wherever and whenever they can - whether they're on their daily commute or in the hairdressers having a blow dry. Together, our free moments will help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured."