ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – AI Has Sped Up Biological Discovery by Cracking the Mystery of Proteins (Russ Altman, HAI Stanford University)

Proteins are the molecular machinery of life. DNA blueprints tell cells how to make a given protein by stringing amino acids together like a necklace of different-sized beads. But how these molecular machines function depends on how these necklaces form into complex and convoluted three-dimensional structures, a process known as protein folding. Experimental scientists have spent decades developing techniques to resolve 3-D structures but, so far, computational researchers have struggled to predict how a protein will fold just by studying the genetic sequence, which is all cells need to build them.