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New Superbug-killing Antibiotic Discovered Using AI

Friday May 26, 2023. 08:40 PM , from Slashdot
New Superbug-killing Antibiotic Discovered Using AI
Scientists have used artificial intelligence (AI) to discover a new antibiotic that can kill a deadly species of superbug. From a report: The AI helped narrow down thousands of potential chemicals to a handful that could be tested in the laboratory. The result was a potent, experimental antibiotic called abaucin, which will need further tests before being used. The researchers in Canada and the US say AI has the power to massively accelerate the discovery of new drugs. It is the latest example of how the tools of artificial intelligence can be a revolutionary force in science and medicine.

Antibiotics kill bacteria. However, there has been a lack of new drugs for decades and bacteria are becoming harder to treat, as they evolve resistance to the ones we have. More than a million people a year are estimated to die from infections that resist treatment with antibiotics. The researchers focused on one of the most problematic species of bacteria - Acinetobacter baumannii, which can infect wounds and cause pneumonia. You may not have heard of it, but it is one of the three superbugs the World Health Organization has identified as a 'critical' threat.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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