Microsoft’s cancer moonshot: Debug the disease as if it’s a computer glitch

Microsoft’s “cancer moonshot” effort aims to program cells like computers. (Credit: Microsoft) Microsoft researchers are doing a bug bash on cancer, complete with software code names like “Project Hanover.” Some of them are actually drilling down into our genetic code, looking for ways to reprogram the immune system to combat cancer cells more effectively. “If you can do computing with biological systems, then you can transfer what we’ve learned in traditional computing into medical or biotechnology applications,” Microsoft’s Neil Dalchau says in the company’s in-depth report about its cancer moonshots. Others are enlisting the power of cloud computing to identify which treatment would work best for a particular cancer patient, based on his or her personalized medical profile. Microsoft and AstraZeneca are already using a software tool known as the Bio Model Analyzer to figure…


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