Researchers Use AI to Discover Compound That Kills Drug-Resisting Bacterium
Drug resistance is now becoming a significant threat to the public health industry. It is daunting to admit that the drugs we once believed to be effective are now becoming ineffective due to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria. Acinetobacter baumannii, in particular, is dangerous and challenging to treat because most antibiotics are ineffective against it.
Researchers at MIT and McMaster University have now discovered a new antibiotic named Abaucin. Essentially, it is a newly discovered compound that can kill this drug-resistant bacterium – all thanks to artificial intelligence.
The Rise of Acinetobacter Baumannii
Acinetobacter baumannii is a bacterium that usually lives in the human body. However, it can also be found in hospital settings, especially if the location is improperly sanitized. It can cause various infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis, and urinary tract infections, that can lead to severe complications and death.
What makes A. baumannii a severe threat is the drug resistance it has developed against many antibiotics. It is becoming more common in hospitals worldwide, creating a crisis for medical professionals who are running out of options.
The Discovery of Abaucin
MIT and McMaster University researchers, in collaboration with a team of scientists from the AI firm, Atomwise, used machine learning to identify new compounds that can kill A. baumannii. The researchers inputted various data related to known antibiotics into the software, allowing the algorithm to create its model of what molecular structures might be effective in targeting A. baumannii.
Afterward, the team screened 6,000 compounds, which led them to identify Abaucin. They tested the compound against A. baumannii strain variants, and the results were impressive. Abaucin successfully managed to kill all existing A. baumannii variants with minimal impact on human cells. As a result, it has been dubbed the ‘jackpot’ discovery.
Benefits of Abaucin
With A. baumannii becoming increasingly prevalent globally, medical professionals need new treatment options as older antibiotics are losing their efficacy. And this is where the discovery of Abaucin is significant. It presents medical professionals with an opportunity to curb the spread of A. baumannii.
In comparison to traditional antibiotic discovery methods, the advantage of using machine learning lies in its speed, accuracy, and ability to learn from large datasets. Thus, it is a promising technology for discovering new drugs and expanding the application of old ones.
Challenges in Developing Abaucin
Despite the exciting prospect of using Abaucin as a treatment option for A. baumannii, there is still work to do in optimizing its production. Since the molecule is prevalent in plants, the researchers must determine the best way to extract it from the plants via a cost-effective, scalable process.
However, it is pertinent to note that this work is still in progress. And MIT researchers are exploring various methods. That is why these researchers are pretty optimistic that with the help of AI, they will be able to come up with more discoveries.
More in Buzz
Creative Ways to Display Plants in Your Space
Indoor plants not only make your living space more inviting and luxurious; they also make your home’s air healthier. It’s easy...April 26, 2023
Japanese YouTuber-Turned MP Gets Fired For “Never Going To Work”
GaaSyy, the Japanese internet celebrity-turned-MP, has recently been dismissed from his position in Japan’s Parliament. The reason? Well, he simply never...April 22, 2023
Most Famous Celebrity Fueds in Hollywood History
Hollywood celebrities are known for their on-screen charisma, glamour, and larger-than-life personalities. However, when it comes to real-life clashes, they are...April 12, 2023
These Private Jet Tours Are Offering an Amazing Vacation At This Handsome Price!
Having seen celebrities jet off to some of the most exotic places around the world for what can only be described...April 10, 2023
Why Being A Celebrity Warrants Million-Dollar Paychecks
Celebrities are some of the highest-paid individuals in the world. These famous faces can command millions of dollars in annual earnings...April 8, 2023
How to Handle Hay Fever
While many people look forward to the arrival of Spring, if you are one of the one in five people who...April 2, 2023
How Walt Disney’s Former Housekeeper Secretly Died As A Multi-Millionaire
Walt Disneyland is the iconic theme park destination. Founded by Walt Disney and opened in 1955, the park has grown to...March 27, 2023
Shocking! Lisa Marie Presley Had Three Life Insurance Policies!
Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the late music icon Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, passed away on April 1, 2021, at...March 14, 2023
Everything You Should Know About Magic Mike
Channing Tatum’s 2012 film “Magic Mike” wasn’t just a box office hit; it also became a cultural phenomenon that spawned a...March 9, 2023