Biological Machine Learning with Jason Knight

Biology research is complex. The sample size of a biological data set is often too small to make confident judgments about the biological system being studied.

During Jason Knight’s PhD research, the RNA sequence data that he was studying was not significant enough to make strong conclusions about the gene regulatory networks he was trying to understand.

After working in academia, and then at Human Longevity, Inc Jason came to the conclusion that the best way to work towards biology breakthroughs was to work on the computer systems that enable those breakthroughs. He went to work at Nervana Systems on hardware and software for deep learning. Nervana was subsequently acquired by Intel. In this episode, we discuss how machine learning can be applied to biology today, and how industrial research and development is key to enabling more breakthroughs in the future.

The main lesson I took away from this show is that while we have seen phenomenal breakthroughs in certain areas of health–like image recognition applied to diabetic retinopathy or skin cancer–the challenges of reverse engineering our genome to understand how nucleic acids fit together into humans are still out of reach, and improving the hardware used for deep learning will be necessary to tackle these kinds of informational challenges.



Whatever you need a website for, Wix has you covered. The possibilities are endless. You decide. Over one hundred million people choose Wix to create their website – what are you waiting for? Make yours happen today. It’s easy and free. Just go to and create your stunning website today.

Exaptive simplifies data application development for the web. Work with the tech you know. Leave the other stuff and the blue code to the platform. Go to to learn more and get a free account.

Indeed Prime simplifies your job search and helps you land that ideal software engineering position. The average software developer gets 5 employer contacts and an average salary offer of $125,000. Indeed Prime is 100% free for candidates – no strings attached. Check out 



Software Weekly

Software Weekly

Subscribe to Software Weekly, a curated weekly newsletter featuring the best and newest from the software engineering community.