In a new study from Tel Aviv University, researchers have created an artificial intelligence platform that can identify the specific proteins that allow bacteria to infect the intestines.
This method paves the way for the creation of smart drugs that will neutralize the proteins and prevent disease, without the use of antibiotics.
Intestinal diseases are caused by pathogenic bacteria that attach to our intestinal cells. Once attached, the bacteria use a kind of molecular syringe to inject intestinal cells with proteins called “effectors.”
These effectors work together to take over healthy cells, like hackers that take over computer servers using a combination of lines of code.
In the study, the team’s artificial intelligence platform identified novel effectors in the bacteria, which have been experimentally tested and validated.
Subsequently, laboratory experiments conducted in London successfully predicted the protein combinations that lead to the pathogenic bacteria taking over the intestines.
The artificial intelligence knows how to predict effectors in a variety of pathogenic bacteria, including bacteria that attack plants of economic importance.
The team’s calculations were made possible by advanced machine-learning tools that use the genomic information of a large number of bacteria.
The researchers say that pathogenic bacteria are treated with antibiotics. But antibiotics kill a large number of species of bacteria, in the hope that the pathogenic bacteria will also be destroyed.
Moreover, the overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a worldwide problem that is getting worse.
Understanding the molecular foundation of the disease is a necessary step in the development of drugs that are smarter than antibiotics, which will not harm the bacterial population in the intestines at all.
For more information about gut diseases, please see recent studies about this gut problem may double your dementia risk and results showing that this popular weight loss diet linked to higher heart disease risk, worse gut health.
The study is published in Science. One author of the study is Naama Wagner.
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