How machine learning is unfolding the mysteries of proteins

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Understanding proteins — like the spike protein of the coronavirus — is superimportant for the study of diseases and the development of drugs and vaccines. So there’s a lot of excitement about the AlphaFold Protein Structure Database, built by the artificial intelligence lab DeepMind with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Researchers there have used machine learning to predict and map more than 200 million protein structures from all kinds of organisms. Meghan McCarty-Carino of “Marketplace Tech” spoke with Matthew Higgins, professor of molecular parasitology at the University of Oxford. He studies malaria parasites for a potential vaccine, and he said the database has sped up that work.

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