Today’s Solutions: August 11, 2022

While network algorithms are usually associated with finding friends on social media, researchers in the UK have shown how they can be used to improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment by predicting the interactions between genes. Cancer is the second leading cause of death around the world and is estimated to account for 9.6 million deaths in 2018, a figure that is expected to rise this year. Existing treatments like chemotherapy involve non-selective agents that have limited effectiveness and strong side-effects. As a result, scientists believe there is a desperate need for improved treatments which are more personalized and more targeted towards cancerous cells. There are a number of such cancer therapies already being developed that exploit a gene relationship called ‘synthetic lethal interactions’ – which means that “cells can cope if either one of its proteins does not work, but will die if neither of the protein is functioning”. Finding such synthetically lethal pairs has proved to be effective in offering more personalized therapies, but the problem is that there are many millions of potential pairs and finding new ones is both difficult and time-consuming. Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, the researchers have successfully created an algorithm which can solve this problem by predicting where these interactions may occur. Knowing the locations of these relationships is important because they can help identify where potential drug treatments should target just the cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed, creating a more effective, gentler treatment. This novel computational approach shows how emerging technology and AI can rapidly speed up the work that leads to new treatments for cancer and other medical issues.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

VR tech helps international team of surgeons separate twins with fused brains

In miraculous medical news, virtual reality (VR) has helped surgeons successfully separate conjoined twins with craniopagus. Craniopagus describes a condition where twins are born with fused brains. It is an incredibly rare condition, and—this probably ... Read More

Could “antivitamins” be the cure to antibiotic resistance?

The first naturally-occurring bacteria killer, penicillin, was discovered nearly a century ago and with it came the advent of a new class of medicines: antibiotics. Bacterial infections were the leading cause of death at the ... Read More

Rare yellow penguin is mystifying biologists

In December 2019, Belgian wildlife photographer Yves Adams had an exceptional stroke of luck while on a remote island in South Georgia. Adams was leading a two-month photography expedition through the South Atlantic and had ... Read More

This radio station plays ethereal ambient music made by trees

Silent tree activity, like photosynthesis and the absorption and evaporation of water, produces a small voltage in the leaves. In a bid to encourage people to think more carefully about their local tree canopy, sound ... Read More