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AI Is Exploring Which Animal Viruses Could Infect The World Next
By Alexa Heah, 30 Sep 2021
Image via Shutterstock
With the COVID-19 virus rumored to have started from a bat, and other animal-related diseases such as Mad Cow Disease and Bird Flu becoming the norm in the daily lexicon, it’s no surprise many people are afraid of what could be the next deadly animal virus.
Scientists have taken charge too, researching on which diseases could mutate from infecting animals only to affecting humans, too. Recently, a team from the University of Glasgow in the UK have come up with an easier way to spot these pesky viruses.
According to The Next Web, the researchers developed a system powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that helps to identify potentially dangerous strains by examining the signatures encoded in the viral genomes.
Currently, the AI’s database consists of over 800 known viruses that can affect both animals and humans, which it learns from in order to spot new ones. The team hopes the machine will help spot the next threatening virus before it turns into a pandemic.
Viruses that are flagged will be forwarded to the team’s virologists, who will then take a closer look at the sample to determine if it is indeed dangerous.
With all the chaos the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, this seems like an ingenious way to stop potential threats, especially as AI can sift through tons of data faster than humans can.
[via The Next Web, cover image via Shutterstock]
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