Scientists have used a special kind of computer program called AlphaFold to help find new ways to treat liver cancer. AlphaFold is a program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to figure out the structure of different proteins in the body. Proteins are important for many things in the body, including fighting disease. By understanding how proteins are built, scientists can use this information to make new medicines.
The study was led by scientists from the University of Toronto, and it was published in a science journal called Chemical Science. The team used AlphaFold to find a new target to treat a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). They were able to find a new molecule that could bind to this target in just 30 days, without the need for any experiments. They then used AI to make the molecule even better.
The researchers say that using AI like AlphaFold can make drug discovery faster and more efficient. In the past, scientists had to test lots of different molecules one by one to find the right one to treat a disease. With AI, they can make predictions about which molecules will work best, and then only test the most promising ones. This can save a lot of time and money.
The study’s lead author, Alex Zhavoronkov, said “While the world was fascinated with advances in generative AI in art and language, our generative AI algorithms managed to design potent inhibitors of a target with an AlphaFold-derived structure.”
In short, AlphaFold is an AI-powered program that helps scientists understand the structure of proteins in the body. Using this information, they can find new ways to treat diseases like liver cancer. This study is the first time that AlphaFold has been used to find a new drug target and the researchers believe that it could be used to find treatments for many other diseases in the future.