Scientists at MIT discovered a powerful antibiotic using artificial intelligence

New antibiotics that the researchers named “Halicin” have been discovered by a team from MIT capable of killing some of the most dangerous drug-resistant bacteria in the world. The drug works differently than existing antibiotics and is the first of its kind to be found using artificial Intelligence (AI), by utilizing vast digital libraries of pharmaceutical compounds. The drug was effective against Acinetobacter baumannii and Enterobacteriaceae, two of the three high-priority pathogens that the World Health Organization. James Collins, a bioengineer on the team, said that it is one of the most powerful antibiotics discovered. After teaching the algorithm what molecular features made for good antibiotics, the scientists set it working on a library of more than 6,000 compounds under investigation. Rather than looking for any potential antimicrobials, the algorithm focused on compounds that looked effective but unlike existing antibiotics. This boosted the chances that the drugs would work in radical new ways that bugs had yet to develop resistance to. Tests on bacteria collected from patients showed that Halicin killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and strains of Enterobacteriaceae that are resistant to carbapenems. Halicin also cleared C. difficile and multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections in mice. More ambitiously, the scientists aim to use the algorithm to design potent new antibiotics from scratch. @

 Powerful antibiotic discovered using machine learning for first time
Powerful antibiotic discovered using machine learning for first time

Team at MIT says halicin kills some of the world’s most dangerous strains

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