Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used to predict the structures of almost every protein produced by the human body.
The development could help in the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of diseases, along with other applications. Proteins are basic building blocks of living organisms, every cell we have inside is full of them. Understanding the shapes of proteins is vital to advancing medicine, but so far only a fraction of them have been analyzed.
The researchers used a program called AlphaFold to predict the structures of 350.000 proteins in humans and other organisms.
Instructions for the production of human proteins are contained in our genomes - the DNA contained in the nuclei of human cells.
There are about 20.000 of these proteins expressed by the human genome. Collectively, biologists refer to this complete supplement as a "proteome."
Commenting on the results from AlphaFold, Dr. Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of artificial intelligence company Deep Mind, said: "We believe it is the most complete and accurate picture of the human proteome to date."
"We believe that this work represents the most important contribution that AI has made to the advancement of scientific knowledge to date."
"And I think it's a great example of the kind of benefits that AI can offer to society."
Proteins are made up of chains of smaller building blocks called amino acids. These chains are folded in myriad different ways, forming a unique 3D shape. The shape of a protein determines its function in human body.
This huge achievement is described by DeepMind researchers and a team from the European Laboratory of Molecular Biology (EMBL) at the famous Nature magazine.
Source of information: bbc.com