Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Published 3 Years Ago on Friday, Feb 21 2020 By Inside Telecom Staff
MIT researchers have published that a deep learning algorithm has discovered a new drug that kills a vast number of the world’s most complex disease-inducing bacteria, including some strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The researchers trained a deep learning model to identify the kinds of molecules that kill
bacteria. The algorithm
can screen more than a hundred million chemical compounds in a matter of days.
wanted to develop a platform that would allow us to harness the power of
artificial intelligence to usher in a new age of antibiotic drug discovery,” said James Collins, the Termeer Professor
of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering
and Science (IMES) and Department of Biological Engineering.
In their latest study, the researchers also discovered
other promising antibiotic candidates, which they plan to investigate
team believes that the model could also be used for drug design
to create more clinically effective agents – based on what the
model has learned
about chemical structures that enable drugs to kill bacteria.
The team inserted into the
program, information of about 2,500
molecules, and other natural compounds. They then tested the model on the Broad
Institute’s Drug Repurposing Hub, a library of about 6,000 compounds.
The deep learning model identified one molecule that was predicted to
have strong antibacterial activity and a chemical structure that was different
from other existing
antibiotics. The molecule, which the researchers called “halicin”, was tested
against dozens of bacterial strains grown in lab dishes. The team found that it
was able to kill many bacteria that are resistant to treatment. (Full
study found in the link above).
The medical industry faces
considerable challenges when introducing new antibiotics to the market; it is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. A discovery of this
magnitude, will support efforts to better protect people against the growing threat of
In the past, antibiotics were more effective
forms of treatment, but over time, bacteria has evolved and mutated into ‘superbugs’
making an infection much harder to treat. Our modern society is witnessing a
surge in the over-prescription and use of drugs. More commonly, people are
taking antibiotics for the wrong reasons – such as cold and flus. The overuse
of antibiotics throughout the years, has contributed to the growing resistance
of changing bacteria to antibiotics – in both humans and animals.
“We’re facing a growing
crisis around antibiotic resistance, and this situation is being generated by
both an increasing number of pathogens becoming resistant to existing
antibiotics, and an anemic pipeline in the biotech and pharmaceutical
industries for new antibiotics,” Collins said.
highlight the unlimited scope of opportunities presented when applying deep
learning in all stages of medical research and development.
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