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Links for 2022-03-15

  • Dual use of artificial-intelligence-powered drug discovery | Nature Machine Intelligence

    Well, this is terrifying:

    In less than 6 hours after starting on our in-house server, our [machine learning] model generated 40,000 molecules that scored within our desired threshold. In the process, the AI designed not only VX, but also many other known chemical warfare agents that we identified through visual confirmation with structures in public chemistry databases. Many new molecules were also designed that looked equally plausible. These new molecules were predicted to be more toxic, based on the predicted LD50 values, than publicly known chemical warfare agents (Fig. 1). This was unexpected because the datasets we used for training the AI did not include these nerve agents. The virtual molecules even occupied a region of molecular property space that was entirely separate from the many thousands of molecules in the organism-specific LD50 model, which comprises mainly pesticides, environmental toxins and drugs (Fig. 1). By inverting the use of our machine learning models, we had transformed our innocuous generative model from a helpful tool of medicine to a generator of likely deadly molecules.
    (via Theophite)

    (tags: dual-use grim-meathook-future ai machine-learning drugs vx scary papers)

  • New-onset IgG autoantibodies in hospitalized patients with COVID-19

    This is not great — this article in Nature from Sep 2021 details “autoimmune features and autoantibody production” associated with COVID-19 infection.

    COVID-19 is associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations, including autoimmune features and autoantibody production. Here we develop three protein arrays to measure IgG autoantibodies associated with connective tissue diseases, anti-cytokine antibodies, and anti-viral antibody responses in serum from 147 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Autoantibodies are identified in approximately 50% of patients but in less than 15% of healthy controls. When present, autoantibodies largely target autoantigens associated with rare disorders such as myositis, systemic sclerosis and overlap syndromes. A subset of autoantibodies targeting traditional autoantigens or cytokines develop de novo following SARS-CoV-2 infection. [….] We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 causes development of new-onset IgG autoantibodies in a significant proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and are positively correlated with immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 proteins.

    (tags: covid-19 autoimmune autoantibodies immune-system diseases sclerosis igg antibodies via:fitterhappieraj)

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