Happy Accidents and Unintended (Amazing) Consequences

Phil and Stephen dip into the archives to discuss the strange ways in which progress doesn’t always occur on purpose. Where do solutions come from? Careful planning. Intentional behavior. Hard work. Or sometimes we just stumble into them.

Cure for cancer might accidentally have been found, and it could be malaria

 

By attaching malaria proteins to cancer cells, tumours could be burrowed into and then destroyed — and it seems to be effective on 90 per cent of types of cancers

Danish researchers were hunting for a way of protecting pregnant women from malaria, which can cause huge problems because it attacks the placenta. But they found at the same time that armed malaria proteins can attack cancer, too — an approach which could be a step towards curing the disease.

Scientists have combined the bit of protein that the malaria vaccine uses to bury into cells it with a toxin — that can then bury into cancer cells and release the toxin itself, killing them off.

 

Can a Diabetes Drug Cure Aging?

But a growing body of research suggests that metformin may also have positive effects for conditions beyond diabetes. The drug has been linked to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and glaucoma. A 2014 study found that people with Type 2 diabetes who took metformin lived longer than healthy people without diabetes who weren’t taking it.

The drug works by controlling blood-sugar levels and making the body respond better to insulin. But along the way, it may also slow down elements of aging itself.

The TAME trial, which is estimated to cost $66 million and will take place at 14 centers across the U.S., hopes to enroll 3,000 people ages 65 to 80 who have or are at risk for cancer, heart disease or dementia. Half will take metformin, and they’ll be tracked for about six years. The goal is to see if taking metformin delays the development of illness and death.

 

10 Awesome Accidental Discoveries

Penicillin
The Microwave Oven
Velcro
The Big Bang
Teflon
Vulcanized Rubber
Coca-Cola
Radioactivity
Viagra
Smart Dust

 

Is randomness a genius?

‘Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration …

Thomas A Edison

 

 

Artificial intelligence will plunge into the universe of molecules in the search for amazing drugs

“There are two strategies of innovation on the basis of the AI in the pharmaceutical industry, which will provide you the best molecules and the rapid approval,” says lark. “One is looking for the needle in the haystack, and the other creates a new needle”.

To find a needle in a haystack, the algorithms are trained on large database of molecules. Then they are looking for molecules with the appropriate properties. But to create a new needle? This opportunity is offered on generative adversarial network specializiruetsya larks.

These algorithms put two neural networks against each other. One generates a meaningful result, and the other decides whether the result is true or false, says lark. Collectively, these networks generate new objects such as text, image or, in this case, the molecular structure.

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