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Machine learning uncovers potent new drug able to kill 35 powerful bacteria

A deep-learning model identifies a powerful new drug that can kill many species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Among the pathogens targeted were Clostridium difficile, tuberculosis and Acinetobacter baumannii, an effectively untreatable infection often seen among US veterans, which enters wounds and frequently causes death.

“We are facing a global crisis, due to increased emergence of resistant bacterial pathogens that are rendering our current antibiotic arsenal ineffective,” said James J Collins, the biological engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who led the work.

“If we don’t address the crisis by 2050, the annual deaths due to antibiotic-resistant infections will grow to 10m, which is higher than the death rate due to cancer,” he added.

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