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AI Has Designed Bacteria-Killing Proteins from Scratch

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Proteins are made of chains of amino acids.

An AI was tasked with creating proteins with anti-microbial properties. Researchers then created a subset of the proteins and found some did the job.

Credit: Christoph Burgstet/Science Photo Library

A multi-institutional team of California researchers engineered an artificial intelligence (AI) to design bacteria-destroying proteins that actually worked.

The ProGen AI learned to design the proteins from scratch by knowing how amino acids combine into 280 million existing proteins.

The researchers instructed ProGen to focus on a group of antimicrobial proteins.

Sixty-six of the 100 AI-designed proteins acted in chemical reactions similar to those of natural proteins that kill bacteria in egg whites and saliva.

The researchers added five proteins that induced the most intense reactions to a sample of Escherichia coli, which two of the proteins destroyed.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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