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DeepMind’s AI has catalogued every protein recognized to science

In late 2020, Alphabet’s DeepMind division unveiled its novel protein fold prediction algorithm, AlphaFold, and helped solve a scientific quandary that had stumped researchers for half of a century. In the entire year since its beta release, half of a million scientists from all over the world have accessed the AI system’s results and cited them within their own studies a lot more than 4,000 times. On Thursday, DeepMind announced that it’s increasing that access even more by radically expanding its publicly-available AlphaFold Protein Structure Database (AlphaFoldDB) from 1 million entries to 200 million entries.

Alphabet partnered with EMBLs European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) because of this undertaking, which covers proteins from over the kingdoms of life animal, plant, fungi, bacteria among others. The results can be looked at on the UniProt, Ensembl, and OpenTargets websites or downloaded individually via GitHub, “for the human proteome and for the proteomes of 47 other key organisms important in research and global health,” per the AlphaFold website.

“AlphaFold may be the singular and momentous advance in life science that demonstrates the energy of AI,” Eric Topol, Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, siad in a press statement Thursday. “Determining the 3D structure of a protein used to take many months or years, it now takes seconds. AlphaFold has recently accelerated and enabled massive discoveries, including cracking the structure of the nuclear pore complex. Sufficient reason for this recent addition of structures illuminating nearly the complete protein universe, we are able to expect more biological mysteries to be solved every day.”

AlphaFold has been leveraged in several applications, from advancing Leprosy and Chagas Disease research to conserving honeybees and addressing plastic pollution. DeepMind in addition has developed AIs that may outmatch top human players, master games without even knowing the guidelines and also improve traffic patterns. DeepMind’s co-founder, Mustafa Suleyman, left the business in January to be able to launch a fresh venture, Inflection.AI, with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, shortly before accusations of ongoing sexual harassment were leveled at the business by way of a former employee.

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