Microscopes enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) could help in the quick and accurate diagnosis of the deadly blood infections, which may improve patients' odds of survival, according to a study. The bacteria that most often cause bloodstream infections include the rod-shaped bacteria including Escherichia coli or E.coli, the round clusters of Staphylococcus species, and the pairs or chains of Streptococcus species. Rapid identification and delivery of antibiotic medications is the key to treating bloodstream infections, which can kill up to 40 percent of patients who develop them. In the study, led by scientists Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) in Boston, used an automated microscope designed to collect high-resolution image data from microscopic slides. A convolutional neural network (CNN) -- a class of artificial intelligence modelled on the mammalian visual cortex and used to analyse visual data -- was trained to categorise bacteria based on their shape and distribution.
A daunting challenge faced by environmental regulators in the U.S. and other countries is the requirement that they evaluate the potential toxicity of a large number of unique chemicals that are currently in common use (in the range of 10,000–30,000) but for which little toxicology information is available. The time and cost required for traditional toxicity testing approaches, coupled with the desire to reduce animal use is driving the search for new toxicity prediction methods [1–3]. Several efforts are starting to address this information gap by using relatively inexpensive, high throughput screening approaches in order to link chemical and biological space [1, 4–21]. The U.S. EPA is carrying out one such large screening and prioritization experiment, called ToxCast, whose goal is to develop predictive signatures or classifiers that can accurately predict whether a given chemical will or will not cause particular toxicities . This program is investigating a variety of chemically-induced toxicity endpoints including developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity and cancer.
The team believe that being able to determine the atomic structure of protein molecules will play a huge role in understanding how they work, and how they may respond to drug therapies. The drugs typically work by binding to a protein molecule, and then changing its shape and thus altering how it works.
Funding: This work was supported by FCT (INESC-ID multiannual funding) through the PIDDAC Program funds and under project PEst-OE/EEI/LA0021/2011 and the FP7 Cooperation Work Programme: Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnologies, KBBE-227258 (BIOHYPO project). Quotient Bioresearch received part-funding from the European Union in the scope of BIOHYPO project. Competing interests: During the elaboration of this manuscript, Ian Morrissey and Daniel Knight were employed by Quotient Bioresearch and belonged to the BIOHYPO European project. However, currently these two authors are no longer employed by Quotient Bioresearch.
Using software to compare genetic information in bacterial isolates from animals and people, researchers have predicted that less than 10% of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 strains are likely to have the potential to cause human disease. In this study, the researchers applied machine learning to predict the zoonotic potential of bacterial isolates from the United Kingdom and the United States. "[O]ne of the cattle isolates (apart from outbreak trace-back isolates) achieved very high human association probabilities ( 0.9), potentially indicating that those posing a serious zoonotic threat are very rare," the authors write. As a consequence, experts could use targeted control strategies, including vaccination or eradication, in cattle carrying strains of high zoonotic potential, in order to better protect human health.
A team of researchers has found a new way to detect dangerous strains of bacteria, potentially preventing outbreaks of food poisoning. The team developed a method that utilizes machine learning and tested it with isolates of Escherichia coli strains. The team utilized machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence that allows computers to learn and analyze patterns. If researchers can quickly identify cattle herds carrying dangerous strains of E.coli, that particular herd can be treated or isolated before an outbreak occurs.
Machine learning can predict strains of bacteria likely to cause food poisoning outbreaks, research has found. The study – which focused on harmful strains of E. coli bacteria – could help public health officials to target interventions and reduce risk to human health. The team trained the software on DNA sequences from strains isolated from cattle herds and human infections in the UK and the US. The study highlights the potential of machine learning approaches for identifying these strains early and prevent outbreaks of this infectious disease.