Natural language processing (NLP) tools are being applied to the movements of protein molecules. This interesting news came to us from Phys.org in their article, “Researchers use artificial intelligence language tools to decode molecular movements.”

University of Maryland scientists created an abstract language that describes the multiple shapes a protein molecule can take and how and when it transitions from one shape to another.

Biological molecules are constantly in motion, jiggling around in their environment. Understanding the dynamics that control shape and structure can assist in understanding everything from how a protein works to the causes of disease and the best way to design targeted pharmaceutical therapies.

This is a first for¬†machine learning algorithm¬†being applied to biomolecular dynamics in this way, and the method’s success provides insights that can also help advance artificial intelligence (AI).

One of the more important outcomes of this is targeting the development of drugs for specific applications. An equally important part of this research is the knowledge gained about the language processing system.

Melody K. Smith

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