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Patterns in the Data

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says his department will contribute its supercomputing capability to support the Cancer Moonshot, Stat News reports.

In a Medium post this week, Moniz writes that supercomputers will enable researchers to tease out patterns from within large datasets. "These exceptionally high-powered machines have the potential to greatly accelerate the development of cancer therapies by finding patterns in massive datasets too large for human analysis," he says.

Currently, Moniz says the issue isn't a lack of data, but the ability to analyze the mound of data that have been collected. "In this case, supercomputers are excellent tools for analyzing genomic and molecular datasets, patient records, family histories, and other complex information related to cancer," he adds.

Stat News notes that Moniz's announcement came just before the Moonshot taskforce, assembled by Vice President Joe Biden, met and as federal agencies prepare for a meeting later this month that will bring together researchers, federal officials, and cancer survivors to keep the momentum for the initiative going.

"We are determined that by the end of this administration, this will not be characterized as, 'There was another effort.' We're determined to say we made specific progress, [so that] the next administration is in a better position to be able to continue moving us down the road," Biden says.