Team of biochemists at the University of Washington have taken protein-folding AI a step further. In a Nature publication from February 22, they outlined how they used AI to design tailor-made, functional proteins that they could synthesize and produce in live cells, creating new opportunities for protein engineering.

Proteins are made up of different combinations of amino acids linked together in folded chains, producing a boundless variety of 3D shapes. Predicting a protein’s 3D structure based on its sequence alone is an impossible task for the human mind. Here the help of AI can make significant difference.

For example AI lab DeepMind famously demonstrated that machine learning could predict a protein’s structure from its amino acid sequence with the AlphaFold system and then improved its accuracy by training AlphaFold2 on 170,000 protein structures.

Source: The Scientist