Research

For the first time in history, artificial intelligence created a flu vaccine.

Better develop systems based onartificial intelligence, the less doubt remains that sooner or later the AI ​​will do most of the work instead of people. He is already quite successfully diagnosing diseases, and doctors are quite seriously discussing the possibility of vesting robotic surgeons with some degree of autonomy when performing operations. Well, more recently, artificial intelligence conquered another peak: for the first time in the history of modern medicine, he developed a flu vaccine. But how good is she?

How artificial intelligence created a vaccine

In fairness it should be noted thatcomputer programs have been used in drug development before. But their use was limited to processing a small part of the information and predicting the results of the work of medicines. In a new study, a team of scientists from Flinders University (Australia) took a huge step forward.

The vaccine development AI program receivedSAM name (Search Algorithm for Ligands or algorithm for searching ligands). Ligands are chemical compounds that, when interacting with specific molecules, acquire various biochemical, physiological, or pharmacological effects. In other words, ligands are the main element in the creation of drugs. It is thanks to the ligands drugs have a therapeutic effect.

"We had to teach the AI ​​to look for kitscompounds that activate the human immune system, as well as find out which of them work and which do not. AI training was to understand the difference between a drug that works and one that does not work, ”said the leading author of the study, a professor at Flinders University, Nikolay Petrovsky.

Then scientists developed another program underthe name “synthetic chemist”, which generated trillions of different chemical compounds that were “fed” by SAM. He, in turn, has already conducted a selection of drugs that could interact with the human immune system and act as a flu vaccine. After this stage, scientists could only synthesize the best drug in the opinion of the AI ​​in the laboratory and test its effectiveness.

See also: How does AI help solve the problem of global warming?

Does the vaccine created by AI work?

Once a vaccine has been created, hertested in the laboratory. First, a series of tests was carried out on the culture of human cells, and then on laboratory animals. The result exceeded all expectations.

"During animal experiments it became clearthat the vaccine works. And it has a higher degree of protection of the body against the flu, significantly surpassing all existing vaccines created to date. Now it only remains for us to confirm the results in public, ”says Professor Petrovsky.

It is worth noting that the experiments on volunteers are notby the mountains. A team of scientists received a grant to conduct experiments from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States. Currently, preparations are under way for a full-scale 12-month trial of a new drug.

“It's nice to see that such a promising vaccine, which we have developed, is ready for human tests and for entering the world arena,” Mr. Petrovsky concluded.

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