Using AI, MIT Researchers Identify New Class of Antibiotic Candidates

These compounds can kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium that causes deadly infections.

Using a type of artificial intelligence (AI) known as deep learning, MIT researchers have discovered a class of compounds that can kill a drug-resistant bacterium that causes more than 10,000 deaths in the United States every year. In a study appearing December 20 in Nature, the researchers showed that these compounds could kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) grown in a lab dish and in two mouse models of MRSA infection. The compounds also show very low toxicity against human cells, making them particularly good drug candidates. The article is titled “Discovery of a Structural Class of Antibiotics with Explainable Deep Learning.”

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