The GeSort game allows players to help researchers better understand how genomes evolve by solving puzzles of different levels of difficulty.
The goal of the game is to transform a mutable row of coloured shapes into a target row with the help of three operations (duplications, deletions and inversions). The rows of coloured shapes represent sequences of genes, and the three possible operations represent biological events known to occur in real genomes. The final score of a puzzle corresponds to the total number of operations applied to the mutable row. Similarly to the game of golf, this must be achieved with as few moves as possible!
In the area of bioinformatics, this problem is called the "genome sorting problem", which is to find the shortest sequence of events that can transform one sequence of genes into another. In addition to helping the research team infer more efficient evolutionary scenarios, players' solutions will eventually lead to the development of better inference algorithms!