Google’s DeepMind predicts 3D shapes of proteins

At an international conference in Cancun on Sunday, organisers announced that DeepMind’s latest AI program, AlphaFold, had beaten all-comers at a particularly fiendish task: predicting the 3D shapes of proteins, the fundamental molecules of life.

The machinery of biology is built from proteins and it a protein’s shape defines its function.

Understand how proteins fold up and researchers could usher in a new era of scientific and medical progress.

DeepMind set its sights on protein folding after its AlphaGo program famously beat Lee Sedol, a champion Go player, in 2016.

Antibodies in the immune system are proteins that fold into specific shapes which latch onto invading bugs.

The aim of the competition is to predict the structures of proteins from lists of their amino acids which are sent to teams every few days over several months.

To build AlphaFold, DeepMind trained a neural network on thousands of known proteins until it could predict 3D structures from amino acids alone.

This article was summarized automatically with AI / Article-Σ ™/ BuildR BOT™.

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