Using Software to Discover Rare Diseases with Matt Might

matt might

“In many ways, nature is still the fastest computer we have when it comes to studying disease.”

Software engineering is a deterministic field. We write lines of code, and feed data into that code, expecting to get a certain answer. Computing is deterministic because humans developed it–we understand computers from top to bottom. The same cannot be said about biology.

Matt Might is an associate professor with a PhD in computer science. When his son was diagnosed with an extremely rare illness, he was confronted with the uncertainties of human biology. In this episode, we discuss Matt’s quest to solve the puzzle of his son’s disease–computer science meets genetics, on this episode of Software Engineering Daily.

Questions

  • What do you mean when you say “science becomes the medicine”?
  • What technical improvements are you seeing in the experimental process of searching for genetic clues?
  • What are the different types of drug screening?
  • Should people think of themselves more as a unique entity with sample size n=1?
  • Are A/B tests over time on ourselves worthwhile?
  • What are the similarities and differences between biologists, doctors, and computer scientists?
  • Do you have a unique piece of wisdom from your experience with your son’s diagnosis?

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