Microsoft attempts to solve cancer

Microsoft teams are using their technology to work a solution toward cancer. Instead of test tubes and beakers, scientists are utilizing algorithms and computers to create a cure for the disease.

“We are trying to change the way research is done on a daily basis in biology,” said Jamie Fisher, a Microsoft Cambridge biologist from the Programming Principles and Tools group in the U.K.

One team at Microsoft is attempting to use machine learning and natural language processing to aid oncologists by sorting through research data for individualized cancer treatment.

According to the Microsoft website, other teams are “pairing machine learning with computer vision to give radiologists a more detailed understanding of how their patient’s tumors are progressing.”

A third group is also creating powerful algorithms that may one day allow scientists to program cells in order to fight diseases. Andrew Phillips, a scientist in the Biological Computation research group in Cambridge, currently leads the effort in “computing” cells. Phillips’ team wants to create a molecular computer that would be placed inside of a cell and notified with a sensor if a disease is detected. The machine could then actuate a response and wipe out the disease.

Although this technology is far advanced, Phillips’ team continues to work hard in Cambridge to figure out a solution to cancer. “All aspects of our daily lives will be affected,” he said.