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Researchers find new, promising antibiotic with help from AI

In the era of antimicrobial-resistant superbugs, researchers are racing to find new drugs that can eliminate harmful bacteria and avoid pandemics. Now, they have some help from artificial intelligence. In a new study published in Cell, researchers used machine learning to predict molecules with antibacterial activity. After going through several chemical libraries, they found a molecule—named halicin—that could counter a wide sample of pathogens, including the dreaded Clostridium difficile, and was effective in mice, STAT reports. “Overall, this is an impressive paper,” wrote Derek Lowe in his blog, In the Pipeline. The advance could accelerate the effort to find a new generation of antibiotics.

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