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Google DeepMind AI Speeds up Search for Disease Genes

BBC | Scientific Research

Google DeepMind AI Speeds up Search for Disease Genes

“All living organisms are built from DNA. It is made from four blocks of chemicals called adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). In humans, when an embryo is developing, the order of these letters are read to produce proteins, which are the building blocks of the the cells and tissues that make up various parts of the body.

But if the letters are in the wrong order—perhaps because of an inherited disorder—the body cells and tissues aren’t made properly —and this can lead to disease.

Last year Google DeepMind’s AI worked out the shape of nearly all proteins in the human body.

The new system, called AlphaMissense, can tell If the letters in the DNA will produce the correct shape. If not, it is listed as potentially disease-causing.”

From BBC.

Wall Street Journal | Conservation & Biodiversity

Florida’s Coral Reef Supports Fishing, Tourism, and Beaches

“Scientists like Enochs are working overtime to engineer more climate-resistant corals. They are creating booster shots to keep them alive, deploying in vitro fertilization to make larvae grow faster, and importing coral species from around the Caribbean to breed with those in Florida.”

From Wall Street Journal.

Science | Agriculture

Fern Protein Discovery Could Usher in Potent New Insecticides

“The pretty ferns that adorn windowsills and gardens have some surprising powers. Biologists have long known that this ancient group of plants wards off hungry insects better than other flora, and now they’re homing in on why. They’ve discovered fern proteins that kill and deter pests, including, most recently, one that shows promise against bugs resistant to widely used natural pesticides.”

From Science.

Nature | Noncommunicable Disease

Cancer Trial Results Show Power of Weaponized Antibodies

“It’s rare to get a standing ovation at a scientific conference. But on 22 October, cancer researcher Thomas Powles received two.

The first came in the middle of his talk, after he announced that a combination of treatments cut the risk of death in people with advanced bladder cancer by more than half — an unprecedented result in a cancer for which survival rates have been almost unchanged since the 1980s.”

From Nature.

Euronews | Vaccination

Scientists in Brazil Are Developing Vaccine to Help Break Cocaine Addiction

“Scientists in Brazil have announced the development of an innovative new vaccine to treat addiction to cocaine and its powerful derivative, crack.

Dubbed ‘Calixcoca,’ the treatment, which has shown promising results in trials on animals, triggers an immune response that blocks cocaine and crack from reaching the brain. In simple terms, the vaccine would work by preventing addicts from getting high from the drug.”

From Euronews.