Addressing serious diseases from the perspective of a computer scientist might seem counterintuitive to the biological nature of health. However, as our collective information continues to increase, it seems likely that coding will be used as a dominant technique used to attack problems smoothly and efficiently using catalogued information. My case for this argument stems from intracellular cascades, which are identified in biology as many of the essential regulation checkpoints for cell growth, proliferation, and destruction. The discoveries of these intracellular cascades can be synonymous with oncogene pathways and biosignaling markers, depending on which pathway one is addressing. Knowing this, it should be clear why I find this important. Identifying any components missing in these regulation pathways can allow us to use catalogued information about these pathways in unison with measured genotypes in an affected individual to determine risk, cause, and treatment of cell regulation- based diseases, namely cancer.
Like many focuses of cell and molecular biology, intracellular signaling is constantly evolving with discoveries being made nearly on a daily basis. I figure then that it is essential that we start somewhere in beginning a code for cancer. This code takes into account various cell pathways that go along with cell regulation, including apoptosis and gene regulation through activation or inhibition of transcription factors. Being that I am more focused on biology in general, I thought it would be a more interesting task to focus on the computer science aspect of this problem. Therefore, the complexities of the pathways are not yet indicated by this primordial code of a far greater task. Instead, the idea of this code is to attack the problem from its very most basic nature, understanding that even though many variables are in play, the direct impact of the presence or absence of a signaling molecule is often binary. Then by creating data structures that are interwoven by code, one can see how the binary direct impact of a signaling molecule can actually have profound impacts on the overall health of the cell.
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