Microsoft is a company which we definitely do not mind supporting. With a co-founder like Philanthropist, Bill Gates (The world’s richest man), it is hard for the company not to be involved in the process of wanting to ‘save the world’ one step at a time. While Gates does not have any involvement of the day-to-day at Microsoft these days, we’re sure he left a blueprint that consisted of going beyond the company culture, to help others, and that is what Microsoft has been doing.
The company just released its plan to ‘solve’ cancer, a deadly disease, which comes in many forms, and has been responsible for an alarming rate of deaths in recent years, in part, because there is no real, visible cure.
At Microsoft’s research labs around the world, computer scientists, programmers, engineers and other experts are trying to crack some of the computer industry’s toughest problems, from system design and security to quantum computing and data visualization. A subset of those scientists, engineers and programmers have a different goal: They’re trying to use computer science to solve one of the most complex and deadly challenges humans face: Cancer.
And, for the most part, they are doing so with algorithms and computers instead of test tubes and beakers.
“We are trying to change the way research is done on a daily basis in biology,” said Jasmin Fisher, a biologist by training who works in the programming principles and tools group in Microsoft’s Cambridge, U.K., lab.
One team of researchers is using machine learning and natural language processing to help the world’s leading oncologists figure out the most effective, individualized cancer treatment for their patients, by providing an intuitive way to sort through all the research data available.
Another is pairing machine learning with computer vision to give radiologists a more detailed understanding of how their patients’ tumors are progressing.
Yet another group of researchers has created powerful algorithms that help scientists understand how cancers develop and what treatments will work best to fight them.
And another team is working on moonshot efforts that could one day allow scientists to program cells to fight diseases, including cancer. Read their full goal here.
Photo credit: Stephen Lam/Getty
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