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01 December 2020


Bill Tozer

Dr. Rebane:
Is this the same as the breathtaking article I read on “protein mapping” a day or two ago? Mind blowing and what great good ole Yankee know-how. If it is the same thing under a different name (protein mapping or protein folding) then it is most important discovery since the thermos. It also dovetails with my believe (micro-biology, once called chemistry) that each of us Is indeed wonderfully made. And “a development of an entirely new type of bio-computer that is faster and more energy efficient than today’s von Neumann silicon-based computers” to boot? It is hard for a mortal coil such as I to fathom such wonders. Can the finite comprehend the infinite? Is protein folding built on recent protein mapping? Things are moving fast...in leaps and bounds.

George Rebane

BillT 900pm - I believe protein mapping is going the other way around. You start with a (folded) protein which you subject to various kinds of micro measuring devices like crystallography to map out its stretched out atomic structure to ascertain what the protein is made of in terms of what atoms hook onto what other atoms.

In training AlphaFold, this is what they did with proteins in known (measured) folded configurations. They measured/confirmed the stretched out structure and then had AlphaFold attempt to find the proper low energy correct configuration (for which the AI was 'rewarded'). This was done with over 100,000 known proteins during the learning process.


"reduced that time from a few hours to a few days..."
Say What? O/w, great read.

Bill Tozer

Thanks Dr. Rebane. I can't find the recent article on new stunning breakthroughs in protein mapping, but an exhaustive search tonight of maybe 50 scientic sites and references to numerous publications all point to protein folding in the past 24 hours. Me thinks I read an article that had similar language to protein mapping...such as this paragraph from Bloomberg, the closest thing I could find:

"Google’s artificial intelligence unit took a giant step to predict the structure of proteins, potentially decoding a problem that has been described as akin to mapping the genome."

Then the next paragraph jumps into Deep Mind and protein folding.

"Never mind", he says as he sheepishly backs away. :)

George Rebane

Tozer 1004pm - I agree that the advance in protein folding is akin in importance to genome mapping.

Bill Tozer

Accuracy of protein folding is within an atom's width. "Needs improvement" he says from the peanut gallery. Still, you took it to another level with the Al-bio combo, a topic you have brought up before. Having data is one thing, knowing what it means is another. Kudos.

Barry Pruett

Nature is amazing. “Can the finite comprehend the infinite?” If we could comprehend the infinite, I fear what mankind would do with it. Have you all seen the movie Prometheus? Lol. How do you think these mind blowing discoveries will effect our future George? I don’t have much faith in my fellow man right now so I fear the worst.

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