Scientists have successfully created a new kind of drugs, helping to prevent COVID-19. The drug stimulates the creation of proteins that can turn on and off specific genes that fight the disease. The proteins contain hundreds to thousands of smaller building blocks called amino acids. Amino acids itself are connected to one another in long chains that fold up to form a protein.
The scientists managed to create these proteins artificially. The method they used is based on the mechanism that passes an accidental amino acid sequence through a deep neural network. The consequent predictions are blurry, with obscure structures, as expected for random sequences.
The probable applications of de novo proteins are vast. With deep neural networks, it will be possible to create even more proteins that can break down plastics to prevent environmental pollution, identify and deactivate unhealthy cells and improve vaccines against existing and new pathogens.
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