New Watson Service Helps Scientists Work More Effectively

    IBM introduced a new complement to the cognitive capabilities of IBM Watson, which allows researchers to accelerate the pace of scientific research by finding previously unknown relationships in the analysis of big data.

    The new IBM Watson Discovery Advisor service is available in the cloud and is designed to help scientists work on research. The service allows you to reduce the time required to confirm hypotheses and formulate conclusions from months to days and from days to hours, opening up new opportunities for researchers and developers.

    Based on IBM Watson featuresunderstand natural languages, Watson Discovery Advisor understands the language of science in the same way, for example, how chemical elements interact, and provides specialists with a full-featured tool for conducting research in the biological sciences and other fields.

    Scientists from leading academic, pharmaceutical and other commercial research centers are already using the new service in order to quickly analyze and confirm hypotheses using data from open sources. A new study is published daily every 30 seconds. In turn, about a million scientific papers are published per year (source: CiteSeer *). According to the US National Institute of Health, an average researcher reads about 23 scientific papers a month, that is, about 300 a year. And this means that it is physically impossible to fully cope with a growing number of scientific papers.

    In 2013, 1,000 leading research and development companies spent more than 600 billion US dollars on research (source: Strategy &). If we take as an example the full development cycle of a pharmaceutical product, research progresses rather slowly, taking on average 10 to 15 years (source: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). Using the Watson Discovery Advisor, scientists can find new or previously undisclosed relationships among disparate data that could potentially significantly accelerate the pace of research.

    “We're on the verge of a new era of big data science discovery,” comments Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. - The Watson Discovery Advisor is a logical complement to the existing cognitive capabilities of the Watson supercomputer. We offer the industry a powerful tool that will help increase the effect of investments in research and development, ultimately leading to important new discoveries. ”

    Leading research organizations, including Baylor College of Medicine, Johnson & Johnson and the Genome Research Center in New York, are already starting to use the Watson Discovery Advisor to accelerate the development of research projects.

    • According to a joint study by Baylor College of Medicine and IBM, scientists have demonstrated a new opportunity to pose questions that may be useful in the context of the long-term development of new effective treatments for diseases. Over the course of several weeks, biologists and data scientists using the Baylor Knowledge Integration Toolkit (KnIT), based on Watson technology, have been able to accurately identify proteins that modify p53, an important protein that directly affects cancer progression. This finding can help accelerate the development and increase the effectiveness of medicines and drugs. Otherwise, this study could take several years. Watson technology has helped analyze 70,000 scientific papers to identify proteins that affect p53 activity. Automated information analysis allowed researchers to identify six proteins for the next study. This marks a significant breakthrough, since in the last 30 years, scientists could cope with the study of only one protein per year.

    “On average, one scientist can read from one to five studies per day,” says Dr. Olivier Lichtarge, lead researcher and professor of molecular genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. - Speaking specifically about p53, more than 70,000 scientific papers are devoted to this protein. Even if I read five studies a day, I will spend almost 38 years in order to completely rework all the information available today. Watson’s technology, in turn, has demonstrated the ability to increase the speed and quality of research. ”

    Johnson & Johnsoncollaborates with the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor development team to teach the Watson supercomputer to read and understand scientific papers that describe in detail the results of clinical trials of drugs. Collaboration between the two companies can affect the comparative analysis of the effectiveness of drugs, which will allow medical personnel to prescribe the right treatments for patients, as well as minimize side effects. On average, a manual comparative analysis of effectiveness requires the participation of three specialists and work for 10 months only to collect the necessary data and prepare them for the analysis of information and confirmation of the hypothesis. Specialists Johnson & Johnson and IBM hope to teach the supercomputer to quickly extract information directly from medical literature, allowing researchers to ask questions,

    • The IBM Watson supercomputer will support the work of analysts at the Genome Research Center in New York in the development of genomic medicine. Researchers will focus on the clinical use of genomics to help oncologists provide treatment based on the patient’s DNA to patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that kills more than 13,000 Americans each year. Despite significant breakthroughs in the study of the genetic causes of cancer, the sheer size of genomic data sets makes it difficult to find effective treatments. Based on the results of a new clinical study in the near future, IBM Watson will help accelerate the provision of personalized treatments.

    Practical use

    New technologies can find application in all areas where analysis of a large amount of information is required. Cognitive computing will allow experts to work with huge amounts of data, including the products of the intellectual work of many experts.

    Watson can be used:

    - To help drug developers need to save the lives of many people
    - Expand the analytical capabilities of financial advisors - Improve M&A advocacy strategies through a more comprehensive legal assessment and document analysis

    - To work with government analysts in areas related to security
    - To create new recipes. Chefs can use Watson to create new dishes, learn the principles of cooking and the composition of food, and also use a huge database of recipes with data on compatibility of products, chemistry and cuisines of the world.

    The IBM Watson Discovery Advisor can transform data-driven industries and professions such as law, biotechnology, education, chemistry, metal manufacturing, research, technology, and forensics.

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