Microsoft has announced that they will solve the issue of Cancer using Computer Science within 10 years.
One of the proposals include creating small DNA computers which can live inside a person’s body to monitor cancer cells and reprogram them to healthy cells when they pop up.
Microsoft Research’s Chris Bishop told Sarah Knapton at The Telegraph
, “I think it’s a very natural thing for Microsoft to be looking at because we have tremendous expertise in computer science and what is going on in cancer is a computational problem. It’s not just an analogy, it’s a deep mathematical insight. Biology and computing are disciplines which seem like chalk and cheese but which have very deep connections on the most fundamental level.”
In order to make this goal a reality, Microsoft has gathered a biologist team and computer scientists from all over the world to work on cancer research.
One team plans to use a machine learning
and computer vision to give radiologists a better scope on how a patient’s tumor is progressing.
Another team is also focusing on algorithms to find out the best plan of attack for each specific tumor type.
On the other hand, another group is assigned to work on making computers out of DNA to monitor and reprogram the cancer cells inside the body.
The team says that through machine learning, researchers can better analyze biological data files in search for new treatment approaches.
David Heckerman, Director of Microsoft’s Genomics team, said in press statement
: “We’re in a revolution with respect to cancer treatment. Even 10 years ago people thought that you treat the tissue: you have brain cancer, you get brain cancer treatment. You have lung cancer, you get lung cancer treatment. Now, we know it’s just as, if not more, important to treat the genomics of the cancer, e.g. which genes have gone bad in the genome.”
As for the ambitious goal to solve cancer in 10 years, many researchers believe this will be achieved.
Jasmin Fisher, Senior Researcher, told The Telegraph, “If we are able to control and regulate cancer then it becomes like any chronic disease and then the problem is solved. I think for some of the cancers five years, but definitely within a decade. Then we will probably have a century free of cancer.”