Researchers at Google DeepMind, the tech giant's artificial intelligence arm, on Tuesday introduced a tool that predicts whether genetic mutations are likely to cause harm, a breakthrough that could help research into rare diseases.
The findings are "another step in recognising the impact that AI is having in the natural sciences," said Pushmeet Kohli, vice president for research at Google DeepMind.
The tool focuses on so-called "missense" mutations, where a single letter of the genetic code is affected.
A typical human has 9,000 such mutations throughout their genome; they can be harmless or cause diseases such as cystic fibrosis or cancer or damage brain development.
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