Citizen science: Go ahead, try this at home

Universities and scientists are looking for online collaborators to help in their work. Here are 10 of the most interesting projects; see if there's one you want to join.
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Ever wish you could have a hand in the next big scientific or medical discovery?

Actually, you could. Scientists from around the world are looking for volunteers to help gather info, take online tests or analyze data -- no scientific degree required.

Citizen science is a collaboration between scientists and amateurs. The University of California, Berkeley launched the first online citizen-science project in 1998 with SETI@home, which searches for extraterrestrial intelligence.  

For volunteers, it's a chance to take part in real scientific research. For professionals, it's a way to accomplish tasks that would be too expensive or time consuming to do on their own.

What follows are some of the fascinating -- and available -- projects out there for you to try.

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