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Borrowing From Information Technology

A blog post at Ars Technica describes a recently published paper in PLoS Computational Biology that used search engine algorithms to predict best therapeutic drug combinations. “The basic algorithm used by the researchers involves walking through a tree with nodes that are combinations of the drugs and doses present in the system,” writes Matt Ford. Applying three separate algorithms to keeping fruit flies safe from heart problems and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells, they found that their methods outperformed random testing of drugs and doses. One obvious application is for personalized medicine. Says Ford, “The authors suggest that this technique, combined with the molecular profile of a disease, could lead to better treatment regimes for that disease, which could then be further customized based on an individual’s biological profile.”

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.