another weekly look at stories which we still think will be significant in five years’ time-and more!
Protein Breakthrough– LSS has long advocated the use of Artificial Intelligence in medical research. Now Google’s Deep Mind subsidiary is paying dividends of incalculable benefit. Its Alpha-fold project has predicted the structure of all human proteins, which will be of immeasurable importance in fields like drug design and curing chronic disease. Here’s Nature, reliable as ever:
AlphaFold has predicted the structure of nearly the entire human proteome (the full complement of proteins expressed by an organism) and made it available through a public database. The deep-learning neural network, developed by Google’s artificial-intelligence firm DeepMind, predicts the 3D structures of proteins from their amino-acid sequences. AlphaFold has also predicted almost complete proteomes for other organisms, ranging from mice and maize (corn) to the malaria parasite. The more than 350,000 protein structures vary in their accuracy. But researchers say the resource — which is set to grow to 130 million structures by the end of the year — has the potential to revolutionize the life sciences.Nature | 6 min read
Let it rip It was so tempting to let the coronavirus roam free, so that everyone could go back to work. The trouble was that viruses mutate. That pesky delta variant can churn out copies 1000 times faster than the old fashioned ones. And we wonder-how much worse will the next variant be? Great link in Nature, again
Since first appearing in India in late 2020, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has become the predominant strain in much of the world. Researchers might now know why Delta has been so successful: people infected with it produce far more virus than do those infected with the original version of SARS-CoV-2, making it very easy to spread. A study of some of the first people in China to be infected with Delta showed that their viral load — a measure of the density of viral particles in the body — was roughly 1,000 times higher than in people infected with the original coronavirus strain.Nature | 4 min read
Green investing One question many people like to ask is “is this company really concerned with the future, or are they just putting out a lot of Greenwash?” Green bonds have long been mooted as an answer to this very understandable dilemma. Catarina Cardoso of the University of Westminster, that centre of the highest learning excellence, weighs up the pros and cons for the Conversation.
A little glass of something Sorry there was no cocktail column this week-forgive us for having too much work on. But we can honestly say that there is no better drink for a warm summer evening than a glass of chilled rose wine. From dry, refined Provence or Touraine, to lively fruity Californians or Australians-there are so many you could choose from. And it’s all so much quicker than mixing up a cocktail!
#alphafold #deepmind #google #covid-19 deltavariant #sqars-cov-2 #evolution #greenbonds #universityof westminster