Quantum algorithms will help in the development of new drugs, scientists from the Russian Quantum Center are sure. Their research is published in the journal Nature Computational Science.
Quantum computers can significantly speed up the work of algorithms that are involved in the processing of biological data. For example, when solving one of the most important problems of quantum chemistry – the study of biochemical reactions. With classical computers and computing systems, it is simply impossible to achieve the same scales that are available with quantum computers. For example, scientists will be able to accurately determine the characteristics of biological systems directly at the molecular level.
Another area of application of quantum computers is the study of nitrogenase, an enzyme that is involved in the processes of enriching soil and water bodies with nitrogen. Nitrogenase is critical to the life of many plants and microorganisms. And quantum computers, in turn, are able to increase the efficiency of ammonia production (3% of the world’s energy) by simulating the interaction of nitrogenase with the FeMo cofactor.
Protein prediction is another important area of application for quantum computers, since classical machines are practically powerless in this matter. The synergy between quantum computing and artificial intelligence, according to scientists, will lead to a breakthrough in the development of new drugs (including in terms of the speed of their synthesis).
“All these tasks are currently being solved at the model level, but not yet at the data scale to extract industrial benefits from this. We can assume that we will see the first significant results from the application of quantum algorithms in the field of bioinformatics on the horizon of 2-3 years. The next step after that will be related to the industrialization of quantum computers and the scaling of their applications.”Alexey Fedorov, Head of the Scientific Group “Quantum Information Technologies” of the Russian Quantum Center and Professor of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Recall that the National Quantum Laboratory is a federal project created in November 2020 and bringing together several key universities, research centers and technology companies to create quantum computers.