Supercomputer to help Fight Brain Cancer

IBM-is-putting-its-Watson-supercomputer-pictured-here-in-an-undated-photo-courtesy-of-IBM-to-work-fighting-cancer-AFP

IBM’s Watson cloud super computer is going to be used to help gather and analyze research for brain cancer. IBM is partnering with the New York Genome Center to help create treatments based upon research that’s already been completed.

The way it works is Watson will analyze mass amounts of information faster than any ordinary computer could and creates links between the various findings which can then be used to help craft new treatments for Glioblastoma, a severe form of brain cancer.

Many cancers are initiated by a similar process so if this project is successful scientists are looking to use Watson to take a closer look at treating leukaemia and other cancers down the road. Every cancer is different so by using the supercomputer’s capabilities, scientists will be able to target the tumors’ development.

Doctors simply don’t have the time to spend the amount of time necessary to diagnose and delve into each individual cancer case and supercomputers give them the option to help more people. A great thing about this is that supercomputers are continuing to become more powerful and more cost efficient. Imagine a future where each city has their own supercomputer connected to all of the hospitals in the city that could analyze all of the cases that are too hard for any human doctor to solve.

WIRED Magazine says, “Watson’s ingestion of more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, more than two million pages from medical journals and the further ability to search through up to 1.5 million patient records for further information gives it a breadth of knowledge no human doctor can match.” Source

These supercomputers will also be able to connect with all of their counterparts across the country (and hopefully if countries can put politics aside then the world) to share cures for illnesses

Talk about using Big Data for bettering society!

For more information about partnership between IBM and the New York Genome Center visit:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/03/ibm-to-set-watson-loose-on-cancer-genome-data/

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/11/ibm-watson-medical-doctor

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