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Scientists have discovered a new type of antibiotic using artificial intelligence (AI) that could potentially defeat a dangerous superbug.

The compound identified by AI works in a precise way that targets only the problem pathogen, without harming beneficial bacteria that inhabit the gut or skin.

Researchers say this could help prevent bacteria from becoming resistant to treatment.

The study was published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology

The antibiotic was tested against the superbug Acinetobacter baumanii which is found in hospitals and healthcare settings and can cause difficult-to-treat skin, blood, or respiratory infections.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists this bacteria as the pathogen of the greatest need for new types of antibiotics. The researchers used a technique called high-throughput drug screening to identify compounds that blocked the growth of Acinetobacter baumanii, and then trained an AI algorithm to screen more than 6,000 molecules.

The result was the discovery of a new compound called RS102895, which appears to work in a novel way by preventing components of the bacteria from traveling between the cell and its surface. [1]

The era of Artificial Intelligence brings with it some legitimate concerns but clearly as is the case with this new anti-biotic there is a big upside as well.

Read more > A new antibiotic, discovered with artificial intelligence, may defeat a dangerous superbug

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