Last year, Google-owned DeepMind solved the decades-long protein folding problem with an elegant AI approach, fundamentally improving our understanding of our own biology. In this article, Community columnist Aditi Somayajula explains the science behind DeepMind’s solution and explores how big tech is likely to become the new big pharma.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon officially proclaimed a war on drugs. Since then, the United States has spent well over $1 trillion on drug prevention and detainment. “If we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely in time destroy us,” Nixon told Congress in 1971. “I am not prepared to accept this alternative.” The goal of the war on drugs is to reduce drug use. The specific aim is to destroy and inhibit the international drug trade — making drugs scarcer and costlier, and therefore making drug habits in the US unaffordable.