NPR: “Scientists are using AI to speed up discoveries”

NPR senior editor and correspondent Geoff Blumfiel recently visited our labs as part of his coverage of how artificial intelligence is accelerating scientific research.

From NPR:

Susana Vazquez-Torres is a fourth-year graduate student at the University of Washington who wants to someday invent new drugs for neglected diseases.

Lately, she’s been thinking a lot about snake bites: Around a hundred thousand people die each year from snake bites, according to the World Health Organization — and yet, she says, “the current therapeutics are not safe and are very expensive.”

Part of the problem is that developing new drugs for things like snake bites has been a slow and laborious process. In the past, Torres says, it might have taken years to come up with a promising compound.

But recently, a new tool in her laboratory has rapidly sped up that timeline: Artificial intelligence. Torres started her current project in February and already has some candidate drugs lined up.

“It’s just crazy that we can come up with a therapeutic in a couple of months now,” she says.

Hear the full story at

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