Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used to discover three drugs that could help delay the effects of aging and related diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
A study by the University of Edinburgh used artificial intelligence Algorithms find three chemicals that can target defective cells, which can be hundreds of times cheaper than standard screening methods.
The researchers’ findings suggest that the drugs can remove defective cells — known as senescent cells — that are associated with disease, vision and reduced mobility.
Previous studies have studied these cells, but this is the first time a chemical has been identified that can safely remove them.
The team says senolytic drugs are often highly toxic to normal, healthy cells in the body.
Using data on more than 2,500 chemical structures identified in previous studies, the researchers trained a machine learning model to identify key features of chemicals with aging activity.
The team then used the models to screen more than 4,000 chemicals, identifying 21 potential drug candidates for experimental testing.
These chemicals — ginkgoxanthin, periplocin and oleandrin — were found to remove defective cells when tested on human cells.
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All three chemicals are natural products found in traditional herbal medicine.
Co-author Dr Diego Oyarzún said: “This study shows that artificial intelligence can be very effective in helping us identify new drug candidates, especially in the early stages of drug discovery and in diseases with complex biology or few known molecular targets. .”