A perfect prescription would fix what ails you, and leave the rest of you well enough alone. That’s the ideal. The reality: Side effects bedevil almost all available drugs, and keep many others from ever reaching the market. A new approach for monitoring drugs’ consequences in yeast cells could help sort the silver bullets from bombs more efficiently. Acacia Biosciences-a startup in Richmond, Calif.-is systematically “knocking out,” or disabling, each yeast gene and studying what effect the loss of that specific gene has on the cell. The readout serves as a “molecular fingerprint of what the perfect drug would do,” says Acacia CEO Bruce Cohen, since such a therapeutic agent would block the function of one-and only one-gene.
Acacia is working with Eli Lilly to study test compounds in this “genome reporter matrix.” Researchers introduce candidate chemicals into thousands of yeast colonies, and record the compounds’ influence on each gene. The drug that gets closest to the “knock-out” fingerprint might be put on the inside track toward human testing.
The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus
The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.
Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free
Facebook’s parent company is inviting researchers to pore over and pick apart the flaws in its version of GPT-3
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging
The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.
The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images
Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.
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