A Netflix-Inspired Approach to Understanding Biology and Medicine

Summary Understanding how genes are turned on and off by proteins that bind to them is a fundamental goal of biology. New research by MSK scientists suggests that computers can learn to decipher a protein’s binding preferences from its amino acid sequence alone — a major advance with multiple applications. Highlights Proteins called transcription factors turn genes on and off by binding to DNA. A new method allows scientists to predict what DNA sequence a transcription factor will bind to. The approach relies on machine learning and has many potential applications. All around us are technologies that seem to know us better than we know ourselves. We point our cell phone camera at friends and it focuses on their faces. We address an envelope and a postal machine deciphers our…

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