According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates, antibiotic resistance could cause the death of millions of people by 2050. But a major breakthrough has just been made by researchers at MIT and Harvard. Using the tools of artificial intelligence, they have discovered a new molecule that would be the most powerful antibiotic ever discovered.
The antibiotics currently in use are old and the traditional process of discovering new antibiotics is costly and burdensome. Artificial intelligence (AI) allows us to search “in silico”, i.e. through computer modeling, for chemical molecules that could attack certain bacteria.
We wanted to develop a platform to harness the power of artificial intelligence and begin a new era of antibiotic discovery,” said James Collins, professor of medical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and co-author of the discovery, which was published at the Peer-reviewed journal Cell. Our approach discovered this incredible molecule, which is arguably the most powerful antibiotic ever discovered.