Amino acids are critical to the structure of proteins, which are often visualized as 3D ribbon structures. Northeastern biochemists are studying the chemistry of amino acids within SARS-CoV-2 to predict the reactions they enable. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

The Coronavirus Might Have Weak Spots. Machine Learning Could Help Find Them.

Mary Jo Ondrechen, a professor of  chemistry and chemical biology, wants to identify all of the amino acids responsible for the abilities of the coronavirus to infect and thrive at the expense of human cells. Together with Penny Beuning, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology,  Ondrechen recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to use machine learning algorithms and experimental lab work to do just that.

Research led by Ondrechen and Beuning could help researchers gain a better understanding of the biochemistry of SARS-CoV-2, and serve as the basis for developing new drugs to inhibit its infectious abilities.

This story was originally published on [email protected] on May 15, 2020. To continue reading, click here.

Chemistry and Chemical Biology