Project Premonition: bringing researchers together to detect diseases before they become an outbreak

Mosquitoes. They can ruin your backyard barbeque and leave you covered with itchy welts. Or, their bites may also transmit dangerous pathogens. The World Health Organization estimates that mosquito-borne diseases kill more than 1 million people annually. In fact, mosquitoes do more than just transmit pathogens. Their ability to locate and sample the blood of many species…


Predicting the Effects of Changes on Living Systems

Can scientists predict what happens when they introduce a change into a living system—for example, if they change the structure of a gene or administer a drug? Just as changing one letter can completely change the meaning of a word, the change of a single letter of the genetic code (referred to as a single…


Identifying Genetic Factors in Disease with Big Data

It’s long been known that many serious diseases—including heart disease, asthma, and many forms of cancer—run in families. Until fairly recently, however, medical researchers have had no easy way of identifying the particular genes that are associated with a given malady. Now genome-wide association studies, which take advantage of our ability to sequence a person’s…


Microsoft Researchers Present New Statistical Method for Genetic Analysis

A deeper understanding of a disease’s genetic underpinnings can lead to better biological insight into the disease and, thus, to improvements in screening, treatment, and drug development. This week, Jennifer Listgarten, David Heckerman, and Carl Kadie of Microsoft Research and Eric E. Schadt of Pacific Biosciences made a significant contribution to researchers’ insight into the…