Jul 28, 2022

DeepMind’s protein-folding AI cracks biology’s biggest problem

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

DeepMind has predicted the structure of almost every protein so far catalogued by science, cracking one of the grand challenges of biology in just 18 months thanks to an artificial intelligence called AlphaFold. Researchers say that the work has already led to advances in combating malaria, antibiotic resistance and plastic waste, and could speed up the discovery of new drugs.

Determining the crumpled shapes of proteins based on their sequences of constituent amino acids has been a persistent problem for decades in biology. Some of these amino acids are attracted to others, some are repelled by water, and the chains form intricate shapes that are hard to accurately determine.

Thinking long-term to save the world Martin Rees at New Scientist Live this October.

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