Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Spam Filters May Lead Scientists To AIDS Vaccine

Software scientists at Microsoft Research have teamed up with biomedical researchers in Seattle, Boston and Perth, Australia, to see if computer techniques used to defeat e-mail spam can also be used to help design a vaccine that can defeat AIDS.

Today, members of this unique collaboration will announce a plan to use "machine learning" or "data mining" computational techniques to decipher HIV's wildly creative genetic ability to constantly change and disguise itself from immune system detection and deletion.

Just as a computer's spam filter "learns" to recognize new variations from the same spammer, it is hoped a computer can learn to decipher some fundamental repeat patterns about HIV's genetic variability and narrow the search for vaccine targets.
Interesting how the computer world took the idea of viruses and how to fight them from the biological world and now we are going the opposite direction and the technology designed to fighting computer viruses and spam is being used to fight biological viruses.

via Seattle PI

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