Surrey builds AI to find anti-ageing chemical compounds

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The University of Surrey has built an artificial intelligence (AI) model that identifies chemical compounds that promote healthy aging—paving the way towards pharmaceutical innovations that extend a person's lifespan.

In a paper published by Scientific Reports, a team of chemists from Surrey built a machine learning model based on the information from the DrugAge database to predict whether a compound can extend the life of Caenorhabditis elegans—a translucent worm that shares a similar metabolism to humans. The worm's shorter lifespan gave the researchers the opportunity to see the impact of the .

The AI singled out three compounds that have an 80 percent chance of increasing the lifespan of elegans:

  • flavonoids (anti-oxidant pigments found in plants that promote cardiovascular health),
  • (such as omega 3), and
  • Organooxygens (compounds that contain carbon to oxygen bonds, such as alcohol).

Sofia Kapsiani, co-author of the study and final year undergraduate student at the University of Surrey, said:

"Aging is increasingly being recognized as a set of diseases in , and we can apply the tools of the digital world, such as AI, to help slow down or protect against aging and age-related diseases. Our study demonstrates the revolutionary ability of AI to aid the identification of compounds with anti-aging properties."

Dr. Brendan Howlin, lead author of the study and Senior Lecturer in Computational Chemistry at the University of Surrey, said:

"This research shows the power and potential of AI, which is a speciality of the University of Surrey, to drive significant benefits in human health."


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More information: Sofia Kapsiani et al, Random forest classification for predicting lifespan-extending chemical compounds, Scientific Reports (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-93070-6
Journal information: Scientific Reports

Citation: Surrey builds AI to find anti-ageing chemical compounds (2021, July 22) retrieved 27 July 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-07-surrey-ai-anti-ageing-chemical-compounds.html
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