Microsoft enables to engineer living cells using machine learning

Microsoft will make a big move into biotechnology today with the launch of a new research system that enables scientists to engineer living cells using machine learning and data analysis. The tech group is partnering with researchers at Princeton University in the US and two UK companies — Oxford BioMedica, which focuses on gene and cell therapy, and Synthace, which develops scientific software — as it rolls out the new system, called Platform B. The platform is a set of integrated computer programs that analyse vast volumes of biomedical data. It advises scientists how best to proceed with their research, for example suggesting how best to edit DNA to make genes function in a particular way… Financial terms for the initial partnerships have not been disclosed. Oxford BioMedica is a world leader in producing “lentiviral vectors” — viruses used in gene therapy to carry disease-correcting DNA into patients’ cells… Early gene therapy products have come to market with price tags running to hundreds of thousands of dollars… The Princeton collaboration will focus on stopping the formation of biofilms, bacterial layers that build up on surfaces and contribute to problems ranging from human disease to industrial fouling.
 
Clive Cookson

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