[ExI] new antibiotic

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Feb 21 22:52:20 UTC 2020

I like the fact that they call this new antibiotic "Halicin" after Hal, the
computer in my favorite movie 2001. The cool thing is its structurally
quite different from all other known antibiotics, and it was found without
any human supervision, they just turned it on and let it do its thing. The
neural net was able to predict that some molecules would have antibacterial
properties even though they looked nothing like any antibiotics we use
today.  They then tested Halicin against 36 human pathogens and it worked
against 35 of them. And it showed no obvious toxic effects, at least
against mice.

Nigam Shah a professor at Stanford University said:

“*Now we’re finding leads among chemical structures that in the past we
wouldn’t have even hallucinated that those could be an antibiotic. It
greatly expands the search space into dimensions we never knew existed*."

Here is the journal article:

A Deep Learning Approach to Antibiotic Discovery

John K Clark
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