computer generated 3D image of a proteinIn GeekWire, Charlotte Schubert (@schubertcm) takes us inside Seattle companies that are using new AI tools to generate protein designs, spun out from the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design. Proteins are the workhorse molecules of the body and are often the targets of drugs — and the basis of the drugs themselves, among many other uses in science and industry. But proteins’ complex 3D formations — caused by the folding of its string of amino acids — are notoriously hard to predict or create through traditional laboratory means. AI tools that are like ChatCPT for proteins are poised to cut years off the drug development timeline, Schubert’s sources say, by making it easier to come up with new protein-based therapies or improve upon old ones. Image: Institute for Protein Design