Is Cloud Computing the Answer to Genomics’ Big Data Problem?

| January 15, 2020

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The success of the genomics industry has led to generation of huge amounts of sequence data. If put to good use, this information has the potential to revolutionize medicine, but the expense of the high-powered computers needed to achieve this is making full exploitation of the data difficult. Could cloud computing be the answer? Over the last decade, genomics has become the backbone of drug discovery. It has allowed scientists to develop more targeted therapies, boosting the chances of successful clinical trials. In 2018 alone, over 40% of FDA-approved drugs had the capacity for being personalized to patients, largely based on genomics data. As the percentage has doubled over the past four years, this trend is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.

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Affinity Health, South Africa’s leading health insurance provider is a simple, cost effective and reliable health plan offering a wide range of healthcare products that are designed to protect you and your family when it matters most. We provide you with a Day-to-Day plan from R417 pm which offers unlimited GP visits, dentistry, optometry, acute and chronic medication, radiology and pathology. Our Hospital Plan starts from R549 pm and offers cash benefit cover for hospitalisation due to illness, dread diseases and accidents. We also cover the hospitalisation for specific stated conditions such as Appendix removal, Kidney stones and child birth.

OTHER ARTICLES
MEDICAL

Better Purification and Recovery in Bioprocessing

Article | August 2, 2021

In the downstream portion of any bioprocess, one must pick through the dross before one can seize the gold the biotherapeutic that the bioprocess was always meant to generate. Unfortunately, the dross is both voluminous and various. And the biotherapeutic gold, unlike real gold, is corruptible. That is, it can suffer structural damage and activity loss. When discarding the dross and collecting the gold, bioprocessors must be efficient and gentle. They must, to the extent possible, eliminate contaminants and organic debris while ensuring that biotherapeutics avoid aggregation-inducing stresses and retain their integrity during purification and recovery. Anything less compromises purity and reduces yield. To purify and recover biotherapeutics efficiently and gently, bioprocessors must avail themselves of the most appropriate tools and techniques. Here, we talk with several experts about which tools and techniques can help bioprocessors overcome persistent challenges. Some of these experts also touch on new approaches that can help bioprocessors address emerging challenges.

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DIAGNOSTICS

Making Predictions by Digitizing Bioprocessing

Article | April 20, 2021

With advances in data analytics and machine learning, the move from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to predictive and prescriptive analytics and controls—allowing us to better forecast and understand what will happen and thus optimize process outcomes—is not only feasible but inevitable, according to Bonnie Shum, principal engineer, pharma technical innovation, technology & manufacturing sciences and technology at Genentech. “Well-trained artificial intelligence systems can help drive better decision making and how data is analyzed from drug discovery to process development and to manufacturing processes,” she says. Those advances, though, only really matter when they improve the lives of patients. That’s exactly what Shum expects. “The convergence of digital transformation and operational/processing changes will be critical for the facilities of the future and meeting the needs of our patients,” she continues. “Digital solutions may one day provide fully automated bioprocessing, eliminating manual intervention and enabling us to anticipate potential process deviations to prevent process failures, leading to real-time release and thus faster access for patients.” To turn Bioprocessing 4.0 into a production line for precision healthcare, real-time release and quickly manufacturing personalized medicines will be critical. Adding digitization and advanced analytics wherever possible will drive those improvements. In fact, many of these improvements, especially moving from descriptive to predictive bioprocessing, depend on more digitization.

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Spotlight

Affinity Health RSA

Affinity Health, South Africa’s leading health insurance provider is a simple, cost effective and reliable health plan offering a wide range of healthcare products that are designed to protect you and your family when it matters most. We provide you with a Day-to-Day plan from R417 pm which offers unlimited GP visits, dentistry, optometry, acute and chronic medication, radiology and pathology. Our Hospital Plan starts from R549 pm and offers cash benefit cover for hospitalisation due to illness, dread diseases and accidents. We also cover the hospitalisation for specific stated conditions such as Appendix removal, Kidney stones and child birth.

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