Science helps business in extremely practical ways

A technique for reading DNA has now been applied to reading and isolating spam emails.This is a sign of things to come.

“Instead of chains of characters representing DNA sequences, the research group fed the algorithm 65,000 examples of known spam. Each email was treated as a long, DNA-like chain of characters. Teiresias identified six million recurring patterns in this collection, such as ‘Viagra.’

“Each pattern represented a common sequence of letters and numbers that had appeared in more than one unsolicited message. The researchers then ran a collection of known non-spam (dubbed “ham”) through the same process, and removed the patterns that occurred in both groups.”

Rate of error–deleting a genuine email–was 1 in 6000. How much time do you waste deleting emails? Is it worth that risk?

Anyway, I have long noticed that patterns exist everywhere we look. Here’s another illustration of a technique from one discipline having direct transferrability to another. This is a jog-your-thinking discovery if ever there was one.

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