Artificial Intelligence reveals shape of every protein known to science – India Today

  • Lauren
  • August 1, 2022
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In what is being touted as a groundbreaking achievement, AlphaFold, an Artificial Intelligence system has predicted structures for nearly all catalogued proteins known to science. The development comes a year after the Deep Min project revealed the structure of nearly all human proteins.Proteins are microscopic mechanisms that control and drive the behaviour of the human body. The human genome has instructions of over 20,000 proteins that have long eluded scientists and understanding their shapes and mechanism could be key to the treatment of diseases like cancers and devising effective health strategies.The AI has now predicted structures of nearly 200 million proteins that have been released openly and can be accessed by the public. The new data includes protein structures of plants, bacteria, animals, and other organisms, opening up many new opportunities for researchers to use AlphaFold to advance their work on important issues, including sustainability, food insecurity, and neglected diseases.Also Read | Artificial Intelligence in 2022: Endless opportunities and growth”AlphaFold is the singular and momentous advance in life science that demonstrates the power of AI. Determining the 3D structure of a protein used to take many months or years, it now takes seconds. AlphaFold has already accelerated and enabled massive discoveries, including cracking the structure of the nuclear pore complex. And with this new addition of structures, we can expect more biological mysteries to be solved each day,” Eric Topol, Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute said in a statement.[embedded content]According to the US National Library of Medicine, proteins do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. They are made from smaller structures known as amino acid, attached to each other like chains and the sequence of amino acids determines their unique 3D structures. These proteins provide structure and support for cells.DeepMind said that the newly predicted structures are already aiding medical research across the world by providing a better understanding of newly identified proteins that could be drug targets, and helping scientists to more quickly find potential medicines that bind to them.The AI in July last year made headlines for predicting the structures of nearly all human proteins by gathering a massive database of genomic instructions. Apart from providing data about human protein structures, the company also made public proteomes of 20 other biologically significant organisms, totaling over 3,50,000 protein structures.The Google-led project, in 2020, made headlines across the world after it determined a protein’s 3D shape from its amino-acid sequence.Also Read | On the scent of AI: From sentient AI, killer AI to foundation models | OPINION— ENDS —