A new Flu vaccine created by Artificial Intelligence technology has gone on trial in the United States.
Scientists are describing the vaccine as ‘Turbo-charged’ as it contains an extra component what stimulates the bodies immune system to create more anti-bodies than a typical vaccine. They claim this makes the Vaccine more effective.
Nikolai Petrovsky, a professor of medicine at Flinders University in Australia and lead researcher for the vaccine said that AI had accelerated the vaccine discovery process and thus cut the cost of the project considerably.
“Normally, big companies like GSK will screen millions of compounds, with thousands of people working week in week out on this for about five years. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to come up with one lead,”
Researchers created a computer programme called Sam which they taught how to recognise vaccines that worked against the flu and those that did not. Then they created a computer programme which Petrovsky referred to as a “mad chemist”, to create trillions of imaginary compounds. The programme then determined from these the 10 most likely effective targets.
“So rather than screening millions of compounds we only worked with a handful. It took just a few weeks to synthesise them and then we tested them on human blood. The compounds then went through animal testing and are now in humans,”
What is failed to be explained though is just how this increase the effectiveness of Flu Vaccinations. The biggest issue with Flu Vaccines is their inability to protect against the correct strains of the Influenza virus. There are an infinite mutations of the virus and AI Vaccine or to be able to predict the most likely dominant influenze strains at any given time seems unlikely.
As for the safety aspect of Flu Vaccines, well this merely adds one more component to the cocktail.