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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.

Axios | Scientific Research

Ancestry.com Uses AI to Boost Black Family Trees

“This week, Ancestry is making available newspaper records from before 1870 connected to more than 183,000 enslaved people, Nicka Sewell-Smith, Ancestry’s senior story producer and genealogist, tells Axios…

Users can visit Ancestry’s new landing page dedicated to enslavement records and either search by name or explore a state with the most records. AI will comb through the once-hard-to-search records of newspapers for names of enslaved people, connecting names in Ancestry’s other databases of probate documents to piece together puzzles.”

From Axios.

National Science Foundation | Scientific Research

Largest Camera Ever Built Arrives at Rubin Observatory in Chile

“The 3200-megapixel Legacy Survey of Space and Time Camera, the groundbreaking instrument at the core of the NSF-DOE Vera C. Rubin Observatory, has arrived at the observatory site on Cerro Pachón in Chile. The U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science jointly fund the observatory. The camera will capture enormous, detailed images of the southern hemisphere sky for 10 years as part of Rubin Observatory’s mission to solve longstanding scientific mysteries by building the most comprehensive timelapse view of the universe ever seen.”

From National Science Foundation.

The Guardian | Scientific Research

AI Used to Predict Potential New Antibiotics

“A new study used machine learning to predict potential new antibiotics in the global microbiome, which study authors say marks a significant advance in the use of artificial intelligence in antibiotic resistance research…

For this study, the researchers collected genomes and meta-genomes stored in publicly available databases and looked for DNA snippets that could have antimicrobial activity. To validate those predictions, they used chemistry to synthesize 100 of those molecules in the laboratory and then test them to determine if they could actually kill bacteria, including ‘some of the most dangerous pathogens in our society’, de la Fuente said.

79% of the molecules, which were representative of the 1m molecules discovered, could kill at least one microbe – meaning they could serve as a potential antibiotic.”

From The Guardian.

New York Times | Scientific Research

A New Search for Ripples in Space from the Beginning of Time

“A new $110 million observatory in the high desert of northern Chile, $90 million financed by the foundation, could uncover key clues about what happened after the Big Bang by looking at particles of light that have traveled across the universe since almost the beginning of time.

The data could finally provide compelling corroboration for a fantastical idea known as cosmic inflation. It holds that in the first sliver of time after the universe’s birth, the fabric of space-time accelerated outward to speeds far faster than the speed of light.

Alternatively, the observatory’s measurements could undercut this hypothesis, a pillar in the current understanding of cosmology.”

From New York Times.