New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 3, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on how the bank’s 50 years of data on the 3D biomolecular structures of life and artificial intelligence can lead to valuable new insights into structural biology.

DeepMind (owned by Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company) this week announced a solution to a 50-year “grand challenge in biology,” using AlphaFold, an AI system. It’s called the “protein folding problem” and the system figures out the shapes proteins – essential to all life – fold into, according to a DeepMind blog.

According to Burley, knowing the shapes of 3D structures reveals how proteins work and how they influence health and disease.

“Powerful advances by artificial intelligence in solving the ‘protein folding problem’ were made possible by 50 years of open access data, provided by structural biologists, in the Protein Data Bank archive,” said Burley, a University Professor and Henry Rutgers Chair who also directs the Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine.

The Protein Data Bank archive houses more than 170,000 3D structures for proteins, DNA and RNA that are freely available worldwide. The archive, jointly managed by the Worldwide Protein Data Bank partnership, includes data centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. U.S. operations are led by the RCSB Protein Data Bank at Rutgers, the University of California, San Diego-San Diego Supercomputer Center and the University of California, San Francisco.



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Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at neal.buccino@echo.rutgers.edu

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