Machine Learning Helps Researchers in Hot Pursuit of New Drugs

#artificialintelligence

Researchers have designed a machine learning algorithm for drug discovery which has been shown to be twice as efficient as the industry standard, which could accelerate the process of developing new treatments for disease. The researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, used their algorithm to identify four new molecules that activate a protein which is thought to be relevant for symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. The results are reported in the journal PNAS. A key problem in drug discovery is predicting whether a molecule will activate a particular physiological process. It's possible to build a statistical model by searching for chemical patterns shared among molecules known to activate that process, but the data to build these models is limited because experiments are costly and it is unclear which chemical patterns are statistically significant.


New machine learning algorithm can help search new drugs

#artificialintelligence

LONDON, Feb 12: Researchers say they have developed a machine learning algorithm for drug discovery which is twice as efficient as the industry standard, and could accelerate the process of developing new treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's. The team led by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK used the algorithm to identify four new molecules that activate a protein thought to be relevant for symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. A key problem in drug discovery is predicting whether a molecule will activate a particular physiological process, according to the study published in the journal PNAS. It is possible to build a statistical model by searching for chemical patterns shared among molecules known to activate that process, but the data to build these models is limited because experiments are costly and it is unclear which chemical patterns are statistically significant. Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed "Machine learning has made significant progress in areas such as computer vision where data is abundant," said Alpha Lee from Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory.


Protein fingerprinting could shed light on Alzheimer's

Engadget

Scientists know that the proteins in our bodies can sometimes fold and form clumps called amyloids, which lead to neurodegenerative diseases. However, they still don't fully understand the whole process -- there's just no efficient way to examine the clumps. Since understanding amyloid formation could be the key to preventing or developing treatments for conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, a team of researchers have developed a technique to measure individual protein molecules' properties. It involves the use of a substrate with a nanopore that's only 10 to 30 nanometers wide so only one molecule can pass through at a time. That molecule causes fluctuations in the setup's (which you can see below) electric current as it passes through the nanopore.


How Small Things Drive Big Events

Forbes - Tech

In life, we all want big things, whatever subjective thing it may mean to us a promotion, a new job, more funding for company or expansion somewhere new, but we all strive to achieve something big. When we focus on that big thing, we may lose sight of what it actually entails. How do we actually go from point A to point B? We do not just jump there, although that is a possibility, it is a rare one. More often than not, we get there step by step, thus we must focus on the small things to lead to big results. I have written an article about how consistent 1% improvement led a cycling team to an Olympic Gold medal.


On Your Birthday, You're Not Celebrating What You Think - Issue 42: Fakes

Nautilus

Have you had a birthday recently? Don't worry--there's a good chance that you're younger than your infant self. As an adult, you have billions more new cells and trillions of times more new molecules than you had in your body when you were born. Your body now has day-old cells, year-old cells, and only a relatively small proportion of decades-old cells (found in parts of your brain). Most of your body is much younger than the day you were born.