• Question: Would Janus be able to find a cure for diseases in your brain like Alzheimers etc?

    Asked by sarah07 to Enda on 6 May 2020.
    • Photo: Enda O'Connell

      Enda O'Connell answered on 6 May 2020:

      Great question Sarah07

      Janus is great at helping scientists speed up their research by allowing them to look at lots of different potential medicines quickly and precisely. But, the scientists need to ask the right questions in the first place! So, it is really important that they design their experiment correctly. In the case of Alzheimer’s, they can look for a new medicine to fight the cause of the disease (clumps of protein that form in the brain and damage it), or look to treat the symptoms, e.g memory loss.

      Perhaps you could design an experiment to stop the clumps from forming in the first place (but you need to understand why and how they form) or you could try to find a medicine that could break up clumps that have already formed, without damaging the rest of the brain. This is where Janus could be used to look at lots of compounds (either made in the lab by chemists or naturally occurring) to see what might work the best.

      So, you can use a robot like Janus to help speed things up, but it takes a team of people with lots of different skills to investigate this or any disease. That is what is one of the most interesting things about working as a scientist.