Genentech’s lab in the loop aims to tap the power of quantity for quality drug discovery


We can design chips that power self-driving cars and create physically-realistic video footage based on text descriptions. Yet, as Genentech’s Aviv Regev pointed out in a session about the company’s lab in the loop at NVIDIA’s GTC conference, the humble cells within us operate with a complexity that still eludes our full understanding.

It turns out that a cell is itself like a computational device with circuits and code, Regev said. These molecular “circuits” interact with each other, receive information, make decisions, and execute them. “These molecular circuits — they’re hard to reverse engineer,” she said. That hasn’t stopped scientists from spending decades trying to model and predict their behavior. “Mostly unsuccessfully, I can tell you,” Regev added.

But what if we could harness the same technological power driving those other breakthroughs to unravel t…

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