Henry R Silverman (@HenryRSilverman) February 4, 2015
A new ‘robot scientist’, called Eve, has the ability to discover a mixture of elements that can help fight cancer, and also treat malaria and other tropical diseases. This is a major breakthrough in science. The use of artificial intelligence to help unearth life-saving drugs more quickly and inexpensively could help save millions of lives.
On a daily basis, Eve can sort through roughly 10,000 chemicals that are toxic to humans, compared to the 10 to 20 chemicals a human can sort through in a year!
“Eves standardized assays could easily be engineered for other targets classes or target species (e.g. bacteria), for adjunctive targets (e.g. to drug import or efflux pumps) or for combinatory functions (e.g. to screen for drug synergies across multiple targets).”
Professor Steve Oliver from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge documented the study on Eve. Oliver is responsible for coming to the conclusion that Eve is most efficient at eliminating the use of toxic compounds in drug candidates, while at the same time identifying elements that can treat diseases quickly. Upon the discovery, Oliver stated:
“This allows Eve to exclude compounds that are toxic to cells and select those that block the action of the parasite protein while leaving any equivalent human protein unscathed. Eve exploits artificial intelligence to learn from early successes in her screens and select compounds that have a high probability of being active against a chosen drug target.
Neglected tropical diseases are a scourge of humanity, infecting hundreds of millions of people, and killing millions of people every year. We know what causes these diseases and that we can, in theory, attack the parasites that cause them using small molecule drugs. But the cost and speed of drug discovery and the economic return make them unattractive to the pharmaceutical industry.”
With the technological advances that A.I. continues to bring us, it only makes us wonder what’s next.
Artificial intelligence could soon be saving millions of lives. Meet Eve! She could be saving your life…