Friday, 21 February 2020

course of medication

Via Slashdot, we learn that a novel organic chemical compound has been isolated by an artificial intelligence trained on the corpus of literature of pathology and drug-resistance that potentially has powerful implications for continuing to combat infectious disease and make amends for the systematic abuse of antibiotics (over-prescribing, battery livestock, wastewater, etc.) that threatens to revert medical science to that of the Middle Ages.
The compound, named halcine after HAL 9000 by one member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers, seems to put back in our quiver the means to deal with the most pernicious strains of multi-resistant compounds that make environments that ought to be sterile incubators for germs that have become immune to traditional medicine through over-use and over-exposure. Furthermore, given the expense that new drugs trials entail—making their development a pricy trade-off despite the benefit of lives saved, being able to find leads to follow from computer models may usher the best contenders to the laboratory first.