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Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are helping analyse enormous amounts of data around the human genome and drug molecules, and these new-age technologies can play an important role in the battle against COVID-19, industry experts said on Saturday.
Speaking at KnowDis Machine Learning Day, Avantika Lal – Senior Scientist (Deep Learning and Genomics) at NVIDIA – stated bigger data sets on genome sequences (DNA arrangement) are being obtained, and this data is being studied for multiple parameters.
“As the cost of sequencing goes down, more and more people can get their genome sequence and in actuality, governments, research institutes and public health organisations around the world are attempting to sequence many thousands of people so as to be develop an idea of the genomes of the inhabitants of the countries,” she said.
Lal added that enormous data sets are collected that are extremely complicated and contain many different related sorts of information.
“. . .the size and richness of the data sets that we are now getting in this field makes it really crucial to use machine learning and deep learning to analyze this information in order to answer complex questions like, by way of instance, how do we identify people who are more at risk of developing various diseases before they actually develop signs of those diseases,” she said.
These data sets may also help understand the mechanisms by which a specific disorder arises in people, or how does one identify patients who may respond differently or become more sensitive to a particular kind of medication or treatment, she further said.
Saurabh Singal from KnowDis Data Science stated AI models can quickly narrow down the list of the candidate drug molecules, which might possibly bind to the protein, alter its behavior and supply therapeutic benefit.
He explained that a special type of AI known as Deep Learning can help answer the question of which existing drugs may change to the viral proteins active in the replication of the coronavirus.
He added that this can narrow down the opportunity to develop the drug greatly, accelerating the efforts to fight the virus.