FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, October 16, 2006

Disease Database

When fighting diseases, physicians, pharmacists and geneticists don't always speak the same languages. Even when they do, finding treatments is a painstaking trial-and-error process. Now, a new database promises to match drug compounds with disease symptoms, helping researchers identify potential treatments much more quickly than before.

The Connectivity Map, a database being developed by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Broad Institute, uses gene-expression signatures as a common meta-language to link the behavior of certain compounds with their effects on cells.

Already, the Connectivity Map is credited with helping to identify treatments for prostate cancer and leukemia. The ultimate goal of the Broad Institute development team is to include all 1,400 drugs that are currently approved by the FDA.

Source: MIT Technology Review