Having risen to fame on its superhuman performance at playing games, the artificial intelligence group DeepMind has cracked a serious scientific problem that has stumped researchers for half a century. With its latest AI program, AlphaFold, the company and research laboratory showed it can predict how proteins fold into 3D shapes, a fiendishly complex process that is fundamental to understanding the biological machinery of life. Independent scientists said the breakthrough would help researchers tease apart the mechanisms that drive some diseases and pave the way for designer medicines, more nutritious crops and “green enzymes” that can break down plastic pollution.

 

 

gorodenkoff/iStock

Read more…