Over the past year, the biotechnology community has become absorbed with the idea of editing genes to eradicate hereditary diseases and cure various forms of cancer.

Our nations’ finest universities developed a new gene-editing system called CRISPR that made this possible.

With great power though, comes great risk. Many scientists have called for heavy regulations in this area. What if a serious genetic mutation gets released into the human population unknowingly? Or worse, what if experiments on live human embryos end up killing them?

These are legitimate concerns. That’s why the biotechnology community was outraged earlier this year when Chinese scientists decided to perform gene-editing experiments on live human embryos. Mind you, these embryos were already terminal. But it crossed a line that many felt the community should stay behind. At least until it can create new safety measures.

One company that hopes to create such measures is a Canadian startup called Deep Genomics. The company feels it can provide a safe alternative to live genetic-editing. How? By using artificial intelligence to predict the results.

Sound crazy? Well, it’s certainly innovative. Doing this means running the characteristics of each gene through a computer. Then, crunching billions of data points to forecast the outcome.

Essentially, this means testing the DNA in question through a virtual simulation of the real thing! If the algorithym shows little risk, then tools like CRISPR could be used on live DNA with a greater likelihood of success.

Deep Genomics’ founder, Brendan Frey – who is the head of the Probabilistic and Statistical Inference Group at the University of Toronto – says: “We can use our system to determine the efficacy of therapies. Whether it’s a drug, or a CRISPR gene editing system – whatever it is, our technology allows us to predict the effects of those modifications.”

The company enters at a time when new initiatives are being developed to offer patients customized diagnosis and treatment options based on their own DNA.

A system like Deep Genomics’ will allow doctors to understand the potential outcomes and side effects of medicine on a patient, before it’s even prescribed!

Hold on to your seats for the rest of 2015 as we continue to see technology roll out that was previously only dreamed about in movies!

Ben Benoy

Ben Benoy
Editor, BioTech Intel Trader

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Ben Benoy
Ben Benoy is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and has been an active retail trader since 2006. He identifies investment opportunities based on key social media trends. He first identified the concept in 2008 and has since developed a tool for tracking investment “chatter” between social media users. His proprietary Social Media Stock Sentiment system has developed into a state-of-the-art platform that identifies and classifies chatter about stocks through algorithms and other indicators to forecast stock-price direction. Ben’s track record speaks for itself — over the past 12 months, his system boasts a win rate of 82.2% on 112 stock trades.