DeepMind’s AI, has made a major breakthrough in the protein-folding challenge, one of the key outstanding biological challenges.
The advance, which means protein shape will be predictable within hours rather than months, has massive implications. The breakthrough will improve disease tracking, drug discovery and help treating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and specific forms of cancer. In the future, it can also help design ‘green enzymes’ that might break down plastic pollution, filter out carbon from atmosphere and improve agricultural yields. It might also have a role in future pandemic responses, reducing the time needed to discover vaccines.