Microsoft Researcher: Technology Will ‘Solve’ Cancer by 2026

December 4, 2015, 4:58 PM UTC

Every deal done by Microsoft

Too much. Too late. That pretty much sums up every recent Microsoft acquisition. Yammer was added to the list in 2012. The software giant in May paid $1.2 billion for the Facebook you've never heard of, despite stiff competition from, Oracle and others in the business of building corporate social networks. Last year, Microsoft paid $8.5 billion for video-conferencing service Skype, which has lot of users but no profits. In July, Microsoft said it was writing off 98% of the $6.2 billion it spent back in 2007 on digital advertising network aQuantive, another 2012 reminder of Microsoft's keen deal-making.
Courtesy: Microsoft

Here’s a bold statement: In the next decade, technology breakthroughs in cloud computing and big data processing will figure out cancer, according to a Microsoft researcher. She did not use the word “cure,” but this still sounds pretty earth-shaking, if not downright incredible.

That prediction was made in a post on technologies that the brain trust at Microsoft (MSFT) Technology & Research group expects to come online next year and the following decade.

To that longer-term question, Jasmin Fisher, senior researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, U.K., said cloud computing power will enable a raft of new research capabilities that will crack the code. Fisher, who is also research group leader at the University of Cambridge’s department of biochemistry, said:

Ten years from now, cancer will be a solved problem thanks to interdisciplinary, ground-breaking approaches that will enable researchers and clinicians to compute driver mechanisms of cancer, as well as to understand, detect, diagnose and treat patients at an individual level. I believe executable biology will play a key role in tackling this enormous challenge.

Executable biology, according to Fisher’s bio, is the “design and analysis of executable computer algorithms describing biological phenomena, in particular cancer biology.”

Cloud computing, which marshals massive banks of computers, storage, and networking to work on hard problems is seen as a huge boon to medical research of all types with Microsoft, Google (GOOG) and Amazon Web Services (AMZN) all touting their huge public clouds as the ideal test beds for these complicated workloads.

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