Scientists at MIT used an AI system to identify a powerful new antibiotic compound that can kill many disease-causing bacteria.
The drug is able to kill some strains of bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, and has also cleared infections in two mouse models.
The scientists were able to discover the antibiotic compound through a computer model that screens hundreds of millions of chemical compounds and is designed to pick out potential antibiotics that kill bacteria in methods that aren’t currently being used.
“We wanted to develop a platform that would allow us to harness the power of artificial intelligence to usher in a new age of antibiotic drug discovery,” one of the research scientists wrote in an announcement post.
Further, the scientists also identified several other promising antibiotic candidates that they will test. They believe that the AI model can be used to design new drugs.
It’s important to note that very few new antibiotics have been developed over the last few decades. Current methods used to find new antibiotics are quite costly and time-consuming. Scientists believe AI can be used to streamline this process.