AlphaFold unlocks a decade of data in minutes that can help overcome antibiotic resistance
Most people with access to a modern healthcare system would not consider a disease like bubonic plague a threat. Such bacterial infections are usually easily treated with modern antibiotics. Yet antibiotic resistance, in which bacteria develop the ability to overcome these drugs, is quickly becoming a global problem. While new antibiotics are scarce, scientists like Marcelo Sousa and Megan Mitchell of the University of Colorado Boulder are considering a different approach: targeting the resistance mechanism itself.
Blocking the resistance mechanism, controlled by enzymes, should allow existing antibiotics to continue to work. But understanding the structure of these enzymes proved incredibly difficult with purely experimental methods – until the team came across AlphaFold. In the video above, Marcelo and Megan explain what it was like to suddenly unlock the potential of this data and what it could mean for antibiotic resistance.
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