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Not to nitpick (I love the answers), but is this true?

> ...and we have drugs today that we couldn't have had in 1950 because programs were needed to discover them.

Probably just my ignorance. But do people in biotech think that software itself is helping them discover drugs? Googling for 'biotech' and 'programmer' doesn't seem to answer the question immediately. Just curious. I imagine we're nearly there, if not there completely. And that the molecules involved are fairly complex -- but I didn't know that we were that dependent on computers for biomedicine. Any examples? There was a recent article about mapping the human genome being less than a panacea. Maybe there are some good examples though....

(Fwiw, the reason I nitpick is that it might be the wrong way to look at it. Software helps researchers discover and produce new drugs. But it's important to distinguish that from software actually discovering new drugs. Seems like a small point -- but it's actually a very different emphasis. One can, for example, lead to an AI winter, if the focus is on producing this amazing self-sufficient software, instead of thinking about it as a tool. But maybe we're already there with biotech, I just don't know...)




Running clinical trials needs a lot of what most people would consider very boring IT (databases, data-entry screens, reports) but you gotta do it to get a new drug to market.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_screening

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Very nice, thanks. Here's a somewhat related article too:

http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/science/article_4b79fc5d-4d5e...

On the other hand, it sounds like VS isn't exactly at 100% production yet:

http://wavefunction.fieldofscience.com/2010/04/will-virtual-...

But getting there. Based on your HN profile, I defer to you obviously. Curious subject. E.g., based on the wikipedia article, I had no idea the range that Berkeley DB was being used for...

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