Microsoft backs Russian-based research into Alzheimers | Siberia, Finance, business

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Microsoft backs Russian-based research into Alzheimer’s

21 Apr '14
Russian scientists from Novosibirsk and Moscow have received a grant from Microsoft for the use of its Windows Azure cloud platform in their research into the human genes responsible for the Alzheimer’s disease. They can use the platform for 12 months, Microsoft announced.

It is expected that tapping into the Azure technology will help systematize the huge bulk of data collected over decades by Russian and international genetics researchers. The scientists hope to understand what Alzheimer’s and other genetically induced diseases stem from and how they develop. Transferring all the data to a Microsoft cloud is expected to dramatically reduce the time required for comprehensive research.

Researchers led by Academician Nikolai Kolchanov from the Novosibirsk-based Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Siberia and Prof. Eugene Rogaev from Moscow’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics are looking into molecular-genetic mechanisms that drive such widespread diseases as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The teams purpose to pinpoint the gene groups involved in setting off a disease, determine the reasons for their mutations, and give colleagues working on medical and molecular genetics problems a new basis for further research.

As part of the Microsoft-backed program, the scientists will study possible ways of creating a cloud-based information vehicle for use by experts in bioinformatics, computer-aided systemic biology, and personalized medicine. In addition, the research teams expect to develop specialized services based on cloud technologies for meticulous analysis of large amounts of biological data.

The grant operator is Microsoft Research, the Microsoft arm set up in 1991 to pursue fundamental and applied research goals in computing and software development for graphics, speech recognition, network apps, mathematical solutions and other areas.