AI in the fight against disease

The protein folding problem and AI

The unprecedented modelling capacity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is opening up new possibilities for understanding the way diseases develop, and finding more effective ways to fight disease.

This short video of the presentation by Abigail Hing Wen at the AI O’Reilly conference in Beijing 2019 provides a fascinating glimpse into how AI, in the form of Google’s Deep Mind, is helping researchers begin to provide answers to long-standing problems which up to now have eluded scientists.

For example, the three-dimensional structure of a protein, based on a sequence of amino acids, governs a protein’s abilities to perform its functions. Inability to perform these functions can have devastating consequences, for causing diseases and allergies, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cystic fibrosis.

Understanding how a three dimensional structure is determined can help us better predict harm to patients, design better drugs and design better proteins to fight diseases.

But the possible shapes that a string of thousands of amino acids can take is far beyond the capacity of even the most powerful computers to model …

Watch the video here: