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Microsoft Research, HIV, SPAM - MS anti-spam techniques help research HIV vaccines

Posted Sep 28 2008 9:20pm

Ever heard of the Teiresias algorithm, for spam detection developed by Chung-Kwei at IBM - the algorithm was developed in the bioinformatics group of IBM to detect patterns in DNA

This algorithm is tested for SPAM detection- discussed in my  my earlier bioinformatics post

So you may be wodering whats thats got to do with this post, OK I am coming to it- 

Microsoft is helping  David Heckerman a Physician with a PhD in computers with spam-blocking team at Microsoft Research, to find drugs for HIV, by learning from how Anti SPAM softwares works

An e-mail featuring “Viagra,” for example, was a good bet to be spam–but things got complicated in a hurry.

if spammers saw that “Viagra” messages were getting zapped, they switched to V1agra, or Vi agra. It was almost as if spam, like a living thing, were mutating

This parallel between spam and biology got the attention of David Heckerman

Bill Gates, the company chairman “got really excited,” Heckerman says. Well versed on HIV from his philanthropy work, Gates lined up Heckerman with AIDS researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Washington, and elsewhere.

Since then, the 50-year-old Heckerman and two colleagues have created their own biology niche at Microsoft, where they build HIV-detecting software. These are research tools to spot infected cells and correlate the viral mutations with the individual’s genetic profile. Heckerman’s team runs mountains of data through enormous clusters of 320 computers, operating in parallel. Thanks to smarter algorithms and more powerful machines, they’re sifting through the data 480 times faster than a year ago. In June, the team released its first batch of tools for free on the Internet.

watch the video to learn more about the work

Filed under: DNA, DNA news, bioinformatics blog, microarray blog, microsoft, science and entertainment, visual genomics, web2.0

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