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Google spin-off lab says new AI AlphaFold 3 ‘can predict the molecular structure of all life’

Google and DeepMind subsidiary Isomorphic Labs have developed a new artificial intelligence model that can reportedly predict the structure and interactions of every living molecule more accurately than existing tools.

DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis said AlphaFold 3 “can predict the structure and interactions of nearly all living molecules, including proteins, DNA and RNA, with state-of-the-art accuracy.”

Interactions between proteins are critical to drug discovery and development, ranging from enzymes critical to human metabolism to antibodies that fight infectious diseases.

The findings, published May 8 in the research journal Nature, could significantly reduce the time and cost required to develop potentially life-changing treatments, DeepMind announced.

“With these new capabilities, we can design a molecule that binds to a specific location on a protein, and we can predict how strongly it will bind,” Hassabis said in a press statement.

AlphaFold has previously transformed research by simplifying the prediction of protein 3D structures. However, in the past, it was unable to predict when a protein would bind to another molecule, and now AlphaFold 3 improves on this.

Although limited to non-commercial use, researchers are said to be enthusiastic about its expanded predictive capabilities and potential to accelerate drug discovery.

“With AlphaFold 3, we can now create and test hypotheses at the atomic level and generate highly accurate structure predictions in seconds,” Isomorphic Labs said in a statement from X.

It then added in a blog post: “This breakthrough opens up exciting possibilities for drug discovery, allowing us to rationally develop treatments against targets that were previously difficult or thought to be difficult to modulate.”

How to access the AlphaFold server

Google DeepMind and Isomorphic Labs announced that scientists will be able to use most of the features of their new research tool AlphaFold Server for free.

To harness the potential of AlphaFold 3 in drug design, Isomorphic Labs is reportedly working with pharmaceutical companies to solve real-world drug design challenges and ultimately develop new transformative treatments for patients.

Since 2021, non-commercial researchers can access AlphaFold’s predictions for free through a database of more than 200 million protein structures. This resource has been cited thousands of times in scholarly works.

DeepMind announced that the new server simplifies the process and allows researchers to conduct experiments with just a few clicks.

AlphaFold Server will allow data entry of various biomolecule types through its web interface using FASTA files. The AI ​​model then processes the job and returns an overview of the structure in the form of a 3D rendering.

Featured image: Google DeepMind

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