This week a German team presented data from a database analysis study that found a link between a diabetes drug and a slight dip in the risk of developing Alzheimer's.
Although Numenta has made progress in creating apps that reproduce the brain, it thinks a fully functioning model is impossible without rethinking the underlying hardware.
Two hundred eighty scientists have signed an open letter threatening to boycott Europe's Human Brain Project. The scientists have fundamental concerns about exactly what Europe is trying to achieve with its €1 billion ($1.4 billion) budget.
Evangelists of 3-D printing tip the technology to reshape organ transplants, orthopedics and multiple other areas of medicines, with Johnson & Johnson among the companies trying to turn hype into reality. And now the National Institutes of Health has joined the sector, adding a 3-D model creation service to help drug researchers who lack computing skills.
X-Chem has notched up some notable achievements in its first few years, including investment by CRO PPD, deals with AstraZeneca and Roche and the growth of its compound library to 100 billion small molecules. Now it has added another to the list by striking a drug discovery deal with Pfizer.
The emergence of electronic health records has made it possible to build a more complete picture of the health of populations. To realize this vision for diabetes patients, AstraZeneca has signed up to sponsor a registry that gathers data from primary care physicians and specialists in other fields.
The importance of computing power to the BRAIN Initiative has been clear since President Obama unveiled the plan last year. Each update since then has reiterated the role of technology, with the latest document from the BRAIN working group giving a more detailed picture of how computer modeling could enable the project.
A clutch of Big Pharma companies is backing a competition to create predictive models that could lead to new targets for cancer drugs. Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer are among the data funders of the competition, which calls for the development of models that show how essential a gene is to the survival of a cancer cell.
Through use of virtual high-throughput screening and other computer-aided drug discovery methods, researchers at Yale University have investigated drugs to treat HIV, cancer and other diseases. Now, the group has teamed up with Swiss biopharma Debiopharm to discover and develop inhibitors for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
The Y Combinator startup investment model has already edged onto the fringes of biotech, with the organization itself funding a HIV vaccine and Illumina borrowing ideas from the group for its incubator. Now, the ties are set to get deeper still, with Y Combinator upping its investments in a bid to expand beyond pure-software startups.