Mapping cancer , like mapping Facebook

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK are using methods typically used to analysis social media networks such as face book to create a computer model that aids in the battle against cancer. In their paper, “Distinctive Behaviors of Druggable Proteins in Cellular Networks”, the researchers discuss how the model observes the proteins in non-cancerous cells and those unique to cancer cells. Using this, they are able to identify the cancer cells , marking them for new drugs to target. To be more exact, the model maps the proteins and their interaction as if they were mapping interacts on social media. They are then able to identify which proteins frequently interacted with other proteins, much like identifying the center of giant components. They found that like a “super-face book user” connects to other user, these proteins connect and interact with thousands of other proteins. These “super-face book user” proteins have a higher chance of causing cancer, making them excellent target. Despite the large amount of time and resource needed to complete their work, the researchers are hoping that pharmaceutical companies use their results and are able to develop new drugs.