AlphaFold can predict 3D models of protein structures and is accelerating research

DeepMind started working on this challenge in 2016 and have since created an AI system known as AlphaFold. It was taught by showing it the sequences and structures of around 100,000 known proteins. Experimental techniques for determining structures have been painstakingly laborious and time consuming (sometimes taking years and millions of dollars). The latest system can now predict the shape of a protein, at scale and in minutes, down to atomic accuracy.

In partnership with EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), AlphaFold releases predicted structures for nearly all catalogued proteins known to science, which will expand the AlphaFold DB by over 200x – from nearly 1 million structures to over 200 million structures – with the potential to dramatically increase our understanding of biology. This update includes predicted structures for plants, bacteria, animals, and other organisms, opening up many new opportunities for researchers to use AlphaFold to advance their work on important issues, including sustainability, food insecurity, and neglected diseases.

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