NEWS COMMENTARY

DeepMind's AlphaFold will fundamentally change protein-based medicine

Published:
August 10, 2021
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Truly disruptive

Many diseases are related to proteins, and understanding their structures often leads to breakthroughs in medicine. In fact, many Nobel Prizes are given to researchers for solving protein structures. Yet there is still not a fast way to determine protein structure – many researchers spend thousands of hours growing single crystals, using X-ray diffraction, cryo-EM, and other tools just to solve one protein structure. DeepMind's AlphaFold won the CASP competition by a large margin in 2020, and its algorithm can predict protein structures based on amnio acid sequences with atomic-scale accuracy. The team has decided to open-source the code. This will lead to a fundamental change in protein-related drug development.

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