New Antibiotic Discovered Using Artificial Intelligence

In a historical first, scientists have discovered a new type of antibiotic using artificial intelligence (AI) after analyzing over 107,000,000 chemical compounds in a matter of just days. The new antibiotic known as "Halicin" was able to kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vivo, and could also clear C. difficile and multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections in mice. Scientists reported that so far, the antibiotic could kill over 35 types of potentially deadly bacteria.


As of now, MIT researchers believe that Halicin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. It was originally developed for diabetes treatment, acting as an inhibitor of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase enzyme. However, development of Halicin for diabetes treatment did not proceed due to poor testing results.


The AI system was trained by scientists to look at the structure of 2,500 drugs and other compounds and look for new compounds with the most anti-bacterial properties to combat E. coli. The new discovery has been celebrated by experts as a major breakthrough especially at a time of growing antibiotic resistance.

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