Earlier today, I shared Lex Fridman’s discussion on DeepMind’s recent advancement on protein folding.

Join DeepMind  Science Engineer Kathryn Tunyasuvunakool to explore the hidden world of proteins and why this discovery is a big deal.

These tiny molecular machines underpin every biological process in every living thing and each one has a unique 3D shape that determines how it works and what it does.

But figuring out the exact structure of a protein is an expensive and often time-consuming process, meaning we only know the exact 3D structure of a tiny fraction of the 200m proteins known to science.

Being able to accurately predict the shape of proteins could accelerate research in every field of biology.

That could lead to important breakthroughs like finding new medicines or finding proteins and enzymes that break down industrial and plastic waste or efficiently capture carbon from the atmosphere.

Philosophy Tube explores what the future holds for consciousness, compute, and AI.

What does this mean?

Biology meets computer science meets philosophy! Following a discussion between Antonio Damasio and Aubrey de Grey I was inspired to talk about minds and brains, computers, artificial intelligence, and technology!

It’s these mash-ups of different fields and disciplines that makes this field so fascinating.

Lex Fridman interviews Dmitry Korkin on the latest episode of his podcast.

Dmitry Korkin is a professor of bioinformatics and computational biology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he specializes in bioinformatics of complex disease, computational genomics, systems biology, and biomedical data analytics. I came across Dmitry’s work when in February his group used the viral genome of the COVID-19 to reconstruct the 3D structure of its major viral proteins and their interactions with human proteins, in effect creating a structural genomics map of the coronavirus and making this data open and available to researchers everywhere. We talked about the biology of COVID-19, SARS, and viruses in general, and how computational methods can help us understand their structure and function in order to develop antiviral drugs and vaccines. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. 

Time Index:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:33 – Viruses are terrifying and fascinating
  • 6:02 – How hard is it to engineer a virus?
  • 10:48 – What makes a virus contagious?
  • 29:52 – Figuring out the function of a protein
  • 53:27 – Functional regions of viral proteins
  • 1:19:09 – Biology of a coronavirus treatment
  • 1:34:46 – Is a virus alive?
  • 1:37:05 – Epidemiological modeling
  • 1:55:27 – Russia
  • 2:02:31 – Science bobbleheads
  • 2:06:31 – Meaning of life