Development and testing of new drugs – employment is extremely long and labor-intensive. But, like everything in the modern world, this area of pharmacology is sometimes to “instruct” robots, because they can calculate all possible outcomes and give the most appropriate formula. This approach is particularly important in the field of developing drugs to which the pathogens quickly develop resistance. And here, according to the publication Science Daily, researchers from the University of Cambridge and artificial intelligence could create a new drug against malaria.
Recall that malaria is a very dangerous disease that only in Africa and Southeast Asia, claiming the lives of more than half a million people a year. The problem of prevention and treatment of malaria in the fact that some strains of Plasmodium falciparum (the causative agent of malaria) very quickly develop immunity to the drugs and must constantly seek new “weak points” of this dangerous microorganism.
In order to identify, by means of which you would win of Plasmodium the scientists used a robot scientist called Eve. AI robot the analysis came to the conclusion that the new drug can be a substance triclosan (which, by the way, is very often added to toothpaste to fight bacteria in the mouth). Triclosan inhibits the enzyme was enoyl-reductase, which is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids and nourishment to the cells.
Found out that triclosan could inhibit growth of the culture of one of the stages of Plasmodium falciparum. However, during the experiments, the scientists found that triclosan affects another enzyme of Plasmodium — digidrofolatreduktaza. It had tried to suppress the other anti-malarial drug, pyrimethamine, but in the world there are strains resistant to this drug. So, triclosan was effective against these resistant strains of Plasmodium. Given the relative cheapness of production of triclosan, mass production of a new drug can begin in the near future.