Cancer: From Biology to Computer Science

October is the breast cancer awareness month. Cancer is classified as a genetic disease caused by the abnormal cell division that destroy body tissue. Wait! Cell? Body tissue? Disease? So now you might be wondering: what does this have to do with computers?

In fact, cancer research has been in the heart of life sciences for the past few decades. Since genetics play an important role in most cancers, computational methods are crucial in understanding the development of the disease as well as predicting the results of clinical trials for treatment. That’s where computer science comes into action.

Biological background

Before we define the computational problem, let’s review some biology from high school and learn some facts about cancer.

Our human body consists of trillions of cells. Although each cell has the exact same DNA all over your body, every cell carries out its own function. The DNA is a long sequence of nucleotides preserved inside a cell nucleus.


Photo adapted from: The Fatal Lover, Mata Hari (2016) watch online 1080

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