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MIT Researchers Develop AI That Predicts How Proteins Attach

To combat a virus, antibodies attach themselves to the virus and attempt to neutralise it; these antibodies are small proteins that are produced by immune systems. Scientists are attempting to create synthetic antibodies to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

To create these antibodies successfully, researchers need to know how exactly the proteins are going to fuse with the virus’s spike protein. However, finding the right protein complex combination fit amongst the millions of combinations is an arduous task that would take software weeks, if not months. This process may have become 80 to 500 times faster due to a machine-learning model created by MIT researchers that can predict the complex bind that can be formed by two proteins being bound together. the initial research also suggests that these predictions are a lot closer to the actual bonds that are formed.

Deep learning is very good at capturing interactions between different proteins that are otherwise difficult for chemists or biologists to write experimentally. Some of these interactions are very complicated, and people haven’t found good ways to express them. This deep-learning model can learn these types of interactions from data.

– Octavian-Eugen Ganea, Co-lead Author

The model, called Equidock, does rigid-body docking – the process of two proteins being ‘fitted’ by rotating or translating 3D space, without distorting or bending their shape. Equidock converts the 3D structures of proteins into 3D graphs to be further proceeded by neural networks which represents a chain of the amino acid via a node in the graph.

Further, the researchers have included geometric knowledge and mathematical knowledge into the model so it understands if the object changes its shape due to rotation or is being translated into 3D space, and so that the proteins almost always attach in the same way, no matter their location ina similar way to how proteins dock in human bodies.

According to the researchers, the lack of appropriate training datasets was a significant challenge since 3D data of proteins was so sparse to come by. Therefore, it was especially important to incorporate geometric knowledge into Equidock. Without those geometric constraints, the model might pick up false correlations in the dataset.

When the researchers compared the model to four other software methods, Equidock performed significantly faster; it took one to five seconds to predict an almost accurate final protein complex, while the others took anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour longer. However, sometimes it underperformed as compared to other baselines.

To make it more accurate, the team wants to include specific atomic interactions into Equidock. In the future, they plan to enhance Equidock so it can make predictions for flexible protein docking. The biggest hurdle there is a lack of data for training, so the researchers are working to generate synthetic data they could use to improve the model.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, MIT researchers have demonstrated diminutive drones that can zip around with bug-like agility and resilience, which could eventually perform these tasks. The soft actuators that propel these microrobots are very durable, but they require much higher voltages than similarly-sized rigid actuators. The featherweight robots can’t carry the necessary power electronics that would allow them to fly on their own.

Now, these researchers have pioneered a fabrication technique that enables them to build soft actuators that operate with 75% lower voltage than current versions while carrying 80% more payload. These soft actuators are like artificial muscles that rapidly flap the robot’s wings. This new fabrication technique produces artificial muscles with fewer defects, which dramatically extends the lifespan of the components and increases the robot’s performance and payload.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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