Boston Business Journal
A team of researchers led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member James Collins have developed a computer algorithm to test stem cells, a breakthrough that has allowed scientists to regrow part of a colon in a mouse. In back to back papers in Cell, scientists announced a new tool called CellNet, which allows scientists to analyze the network biology of a cell, or the genes that are turned on and off that give the cell certain characteristics. Drawing from a library of public genome databases compiled through the algorithm, scientists can then compare the cell's network to other cell types to more accurately pinpoint what a cell is or what it most closely resembles. According to Collins, better cell understanding could have implications for creating patient-specific cells to assess drug responsiveness, for creating regenerative medicine, and for regrowing tissues or organs in patients.