RFdiffusion aims to revolutionize custom protein design

AI tool RFdiffusion, a neural network developed by the University of Washington, can rapidly design custom proteins with potential applications in vaccines, therapeutics, and biomaterials. The tool borrows principles from neural networks that generate realistic images, such as Stable Diffusion, DALL-E, or Midjourney, creating complex and diverse protein shapes when it “denoises” a random assortment of amino acids.

Although the designs show promise in early experimental tests, researchers are still working to improve the AI’s ability to design proteins with more complex active sites and specific reactions.

RFdiffusion is available on GitHub.


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Max is managing editor at THE DECODER. As a trained philosopher, he deals with consciousness, AI, and the question of whether machines can really think or just pretend to.

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