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TopCoder's Open Community Challenge Process Yields 970 Fold Increase in Speed for Big Data Genomics Sequencing Algorithm
Date:2/7/2013

GLASTONBURY, Conn., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TopCoder®, Inc., today announced the publication of a study that details how a potential shift in the way basic science is conducted can be achieved using a community-based open innovation platform to solve complex biological problems more quickly than traditional approaches and at a fraction of the current cost.

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The peer-reviewed article "Prize-based contests can provide solutions to computational biology problems" appears in the February 7 issue of Nature Biotechnology, and reports the findings of Eva Guinan , HMS associate professor of radiation oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Karim Lakhani , associate professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School, Ramy Arnaout , HMS assistant professor of pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Kevin Boudreau , assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School.  

Researchers identified a program that can analyze vast amounts of sequence data from the genes and gene mutations that build antibodies and T cell receptors. Since the immune system takes a limited number of genes and recombines them to fight a seemingly infinite number of invaders, predicting these genetic configurations has traditionally proven a massive challenge, with few good solutions

The solution sought through the competition and research was a tool that could calculate the edit distance between a query DNA and the original DNA string. This was a real world probl
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