Although software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) isn’t a biotech company, that isn’t deterring it from attempting to cure cancer — and it thinks it’ll succeed within the next ten years.
The ambitious plans kicked off earlier this year, with MSFT hoping to leverage technology and processing power to tackle cancer like a software bug or a math equation, rather than a traditional disease. From The Telegraph:
Microsoft has vowed to “solve the problem of cancer” within a decade by using ground-breaking computer science to crack the code of diseased cells so they can be reprogrammed back to a healthy state.
In a dramatic change of direction for the technology giant, the company has assembled a “small army” of the world’s best biologists, programmers and engineers who are tackling cancer as if it were a bug in a computer system.
Some parts of Microsoft’s approach sound like they’re coming from science fiction:
The researchers are even working on a computer made from DNA which could live inside cells and look for faults in bodily networks, like cancer. If it spotted cancerous chances it would reboot the system and clear out the diseased cells.
Prominent doctors are actually very optimistic about MSFT’s chances of finding a cure. “If we are able to control and regulate cancer then it becomes like any chronic disease and then the problem is solved,” says Dr Jasmin Fisher, senior researcher and an associate professor at Cambridge University. “I think for some of the cancers five years, but definitely within a decade. Then we will probably have a century free of cancer.”
If successful, Microsoft would likely become not only the most popular and highly-regarded company in the world, but probably take the reins as the most valuable company on earth as well.
Here’s hoping they pull it off, because what a win for humanity it would be.
Microsoft shares were mostly flat in Friday morning trading at $57.78. Year-to-date, MSFT has gained 4.22%, putting it roughly in-line with the S&P 500 during the same period.