Scientists Develop Flu Vaccine Using AI

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 16:20

Australian researchers developed a highly effective new flu vaccine through using artificial intelligence.

According to the Business Insider Australia, the AI program, known as SAM (Search Algorithm for Ligands) is designed to find the ideal chemical compounds that can cause an appropriate response from a human immune system among the trillions of possible combinations.

The next step was to create 'synthetic chemist', a random chemical compound generator capable of combining "trillions of different chemical compounds," which are then sent to SAM for analysis to weed out the chaff and find compounds which could be used to develop drugs for humans.

SAM's flu vaccine is now undergoing clinical trials. Before that, Petrovsky and his team complained that they could have conducted the tests at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide, Australia up to two years earlier if it weren't for bureaucratic efforts to block them.

Speaking to CNET about the AI program, Petrovsky said SAM's greatest potential may be its ability to predict a virus's future mutations. According to the scientists, SAM has the potential to shorten the discovery of new drugs by years or even decades, and save companies hundreds of millions of dollars in man hours.


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