James Wadman

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.

 

Click here to learn How the Code Works, and for the Full Article!

View my conclusion here!

 

Special note: If you use these ideas in your own project or plan on reposting content from me, please quote me as a source. Any ideas of data collection for distribution to the masses should come with proper awareness of ethics, but I also would love to follow along with anyone else pursuing these ideas because I know coders out there can do a better job than I can and I would enjoy seeing how this idea is manifested by other minds.

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3 thoughts on “Coding for Cancer

  1. Kate Rauner

    This could go a long way to reducing animal testing – and could be more accurately human and faster/cheaper! Do we understand all the steps well enough yet?

  2. James Wadman Post author

    That is absolutely a great idea in theory! I have long believed that computer science models can replace many tests for which we normally require animal models. However, what must be considered is that the data we collect to gather data is almost entirely either from animal models or from opportunistic human testing (such as drawing blood from someone with a rare illness, taking data from extracted tumors, etc.). I can confidently say that there will be a point in the future in which we will no longer rely on animal models, and I truly look forward to that day.

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