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Engineers develop software to decode human genes

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A group of young engineers is seeking solutions to optimize software to decode human gene sequences. If they succeed, it would help doctors and scientists treat serious genetic diseases.

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If they succeed, it would help doctors treat genetic diseases

 

The difficult work is being implemented by 10 researchers and students who are graduates from universities in HCM City and now work for BioTuring, a startup established in the US.


The group of researchers is developing algorithms and software with prestigious partners, including biomedical research institutes such as Salk Institute, Lieber Institute, John Hopkins University and University of Pennsylvania, and biotechnology companies.

The science of life

Seeing the special potential of Vietnamese students' math and computer science, Pham Kim Son, who worked for Salk Institute, returned to Vietnam and set up a startup, attracting talented students and researchers.

"In lecture halls, students may hear about technologies developed in the world. However, bioinformatics is quite another story,” said Pham Thai Hoa, a co-founder.

Hoa explained that in this field Vietnam cannot import foreign technologies for use, but needs to create a path of its own while competing with other powerful countries, companies and research works.

Bioinformatics is a research branch that does not require much infrastructure to develop technology.

Son has confidence in Vietnamese capability. “Vietnamese students are very talented. Their capability of solving math problems is admired all over the world,” he said.

Digitizing biomedical problems

Granted a scholarship for PhD training in the US, Le Quang Minh Tri, a former student at HCMC National University, decided to stay in Vietnam and joined the research team.

“Joining the team, I can approach modern technologies and have opportunities to meet renowned scientists in the US. And it is very special that I can do that in Vietnam,” he said.

The challenge for biotechnology students  is coding, math, statistics and computing. IT engineers also need to have biological knowledge.

Tran Quang Thang, a fourth-year IT student at the HCM City National University, said he lacks knowledge about biology. However, after Son came to talk about the startup, Thang found that biological matters have close relations with math and informatics.

Cosmic secrets 

Bioinformatics lies in the intersection of mathematics, computer science, medicine and biology. Instead of exploring distant planets, bioinformatics aims to find the secret of the universe in living bodies, which can contribute to making predictions about, and prevent and treat diseases, according to Son.

Leading technology companies around the world have all established bioinformatics research and development departments. 

 

 

Source: VietNamNet

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