DeepMind’s AlphaFold Protein Structure Database

Several days ago, DeepMind (sister company of Google) released its much awaited AlphaFold 2 protein structure database. To be accurate, the project was in partnership with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

The original AlphaFold project commenced in December 2018. The Nature article provides a full summary of this latest breakthrough. DeepMind’s CEO and founder is Dr. Demis Hassabis.

The British company became renowned due to its AlphaGo and AlphaZero programs. These programs taught themselves Go, Chess and Shogi through playing themselves over several days. They were then able to defeat the world’s best human and supercomputer players of those games.

I am very surprised that this groundbreaking development was not mentioned by any readers. It will likely have positive implications for future hair loss treatments. Interestingly, reader “Quentin” recently made a very useful comment about amino acids, which are closely related to proteins.

AlphaFold 2 Highlights

Among the highlights of this open access online freely available AlphaFold database:

“This will be one of the most important datasets since the mapping of the Human Genome.” — Dr. Ewan Birney (EMBL-EBI Director).

  • DeepMind’s AlphaFold 2 AI tool has given 3-D structure to 350,000 proteins.
  • This includes a map of the roughly 20,000 proteins expressed by the human genome. Also known as the proteome.
  • AlphaFold is already helping scientists accelerate drug discovery.
  • Over the coming months. DeepMind plans to vastly expand the coverage to almost every sequenced protein known to science (over 100 million structures in the UniProt database).
  • This computational work represents a stunning advance in the 50-year old protein-folding problem in biology.
  • It will change everything (?).

“With this resource freely and openly available, the scientific community will be able to draw on collective knowledge to accelerate discovery, ushering in a new era for AI-enabled biology.” — Dr. Paul Nurse (Director of the Francis Crick Institute).

Hair Loss Proteins

It seems like this technology is ripe for helping speed up the development of hair loss treatments. And helping understand the reasons for androgenetic alopecia.

For a long time, many people have suggested that a hair loss cure does not have to entail just complete annihilation of (DHT). For example, see my post on the Krox20 (EGR2) protein.

Just for the heck of it, I did a search for “hair” in the database. It came up with 175 results:

AlphaFold 2 Search
AlphaFold 2 Protein Search Results.

Other Open Source Resources

We are increasingly seeing free online databases and open access resources that benefit hair loss researchers. In addition to the general DeepMind/AlphaFold GitHub, we also have hair specific ones such as the BiernaskieLab GitHHub.

You also have resources such as Driskell Lab’s where you can search for large datasets related to scarring and regenerative tissues. See my related post on skin regeneration, wound healing and hair growth.

38 thoughts on “DeepMind’s AlphaFold Protein Structure Database”

  1. …”where’s the kill switch?” Good point. At least when my toaster looks at me funny, I can still turn it off. Hopefully a “runaway Ai” solves the hair loss riddle, before it wipes the sh#t-eating grins off our faces. Cheers admin.

  2. Guys have a question for you: if you could only pick one current treatment to use, which would you use, Minoxidil, Fin/Dut, micro needling?

  3. Hi admin, great article as always. The topic is huge, but I am still struggling to understand the basics of it.

    One approach of Alphafold I find rather intriguing: the conversion of CO2. I think there’s different approaches, one was with the creation of bacteria. Sounds like the beginning of an apocalyptic-zombie-movie but might also be the only realistic option to eliminate huge amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Regarding hair-loss I also thought about the possibilities coming with Alphafold, but that is so far away I immediately skipped it in my head. Imho Alphafold is the 3rd major medicinal breakthrough (there were lots of minor ones too) in the 21 century: the discovery of ipS-cells (2006, Yamanaka), CRISPR-cas9 (2015, Charpentier, Doudna) and Alphafold in 2020.

    So even after 15 years of research, there’s still no broad usage of cell-therapies. It will take off eventually and probably very fast – within this decade. Crispr-cas9 and Alphafold won’t have (broad) real-life-applications before the 30s arrive. That’s just the way this works.

    That’s why I am focused on cell-cures for hairloss, it will be the next in line, and there’s enough evidence that it will work out. And there’s now how many? 6? 7? companies working on cell-therapies.

  4. I’m so sorry I missed everyone’s replies in the last post.

    I am willing to make these in 50 day supplies. I use “n-acettyl l-cysteine”

    I will repost what I put in the last post

    I have been posting here a long time, and tried almost every shampoo and different minoxidil formula available. As well as fin and dut.
    The key to regrowing your hair is using minoxidil with these 9 key amino acids. I promise this is the key and I am astonished at how well it works.
    I hope the admin will write a post about this. I was considering making a blend and selling it online but you can do it yourself.

    Are all essential for regrowing hair. The first 5 being the most important. Ingesting 8 grams of these aminos with a gram or so of vitamin c WILL grow your hair back as long as it is in conjunction with minoxidil.

    Aminos high in sulphur such as cysteine are the key. And I guarantee anyone who tries this will probably want to buy me a new car.

      1. If I am to start making these as supplements I need to check it is ok to sell, as I am not a pharmacist, I do have a registered business number however I’m not sure exactly how to go about that side of things.
        Nothing is prescription so I guess it should be ok.
        I will probably make two slightly different formulas, one with zinc and one without. I would suggest going between the two as zinc can change iron levels of taken for too long.

        I don’t know of any multi vitamins in powder form however if I can find something I could also add vitamins/minerals.

        If I can’t I suggest that a multi vitamin be taken with the formula. Btw this smells like cauliflower. Not so pleasant however I guess mixed with a shake or juice would mask that

  5. As someone of their word I found the USB with my backed up photos from my recently perished phone.
    Here is the before shots. Note that this was 5 months ago. It was also after a short break from dut and minoxidil.
    Before anyone says did I have my blood work ect done, yes I did to great extent as my mother has cancer at the moment.
    This was not stress related as it was just before she was diagnosed.

      1. Thanks admin. As stressed as I am, I still feel like the aminos are working. Well the proof is in the photos. I can’t prove that I had a haircut recently.
        The other thing I always mention is retinoic acid with minoxidil.
        Most people buy tretinoin cream and apply it before minoxidil.
        I was doing a minox/tretinoin mix, however now I use them separately. Not the cream. I had the compounder make a separate bottle of retinoic acid in a liquid vehicle and minox in another.

        1. Sorry to hear about ur mum Quentin. Went threw the same thing with my dad years ago. It sucks. Do u mind if I ask which compounder u use in Melbourne now? I remember u said u used to go to C Pharmacy.

          1. I was using c pharmacy but they are just too expensive. I learnt alot from them and now I make my own amino/vitamin mix.

            For minoxidil I am using a cincotta in nsw. Only this particular cincotta will do it at this price. It is cheaper for 100ml of 7% minox with tretinoin than it is for 2 bottles of rogaine, so I am very happy. I will somehow let you know. I should really setup a page or make an email for people to email me if they want details

            1. Hi @Quentin, i lived in ACt unfortunately my GP doesn’t know what the right mix with compound Minoxidil, any chance you could email me your formula?

              1. I can just tell you.
                It’s 7.5% minox in one bottle.
                And 0.0125% tretinoin in the other.
                Apply the tretinoin first, maybe 10 minutes before minox
                Ask to have a very low PG content so it dries fast.
                You want the tretinoin to be dried before applying minox.

    1. Sure, I will take one with both dry and wet hair.. it’s very difficult to get the exact same angles.

    2. Mjones here you go.
      One is of dry hair, sorry I had been wearing a beanie because it’s freezing here. So my hair is Abit flat and not as curly as usual.
      The other is of towel dried hair. Still damp.
      The lighting is different but I couldn’t do anything about that.

      Notice that in my before photos I was a nw3 on my way to nw4.
      I would still stay I’m a nw2.5 or atleast it seems like a I have natural temperal recession instead of male pattern baldness.

      I’m not trying to sell anything on here, I just want to help you all.
      To be honest I felt like my crown was starting to open at the beginning of the year, for the first time. I keep getting compliments from girls on my hair now, especially since the curls have come back and the aminos make your hair strong and healthy/shiny

      1. How can i know you just not a big 3 responder?

        I mean you got you hair back using big 3.

        Those amino acid barely had effect.

        1. I don’t blame you for being skeptical..

          I don’t use nizoral or keto so that’s not one of the big 3. I don’t get any scalp problems now so I don’t see the point. I did once have keto put into my minox formula and it actually was less effective than without.

          I do use dut and minox. I actually haven’t used dut for almost 2 months as I wanted to see how things were going without it.

          And yes minox is still important to use for blood flow. I would say it is equally as important to the amino acids in terms of regrowth. Or we should all just drink wine high in sulphur…

          I’m not trying to sell anything, merely trying to help everyone and like I said I am willing to make up formulas at cost price if people do want them.

          You can be skeptical but I have been posting here since 2016, admin knows me and the proof is in the photos. I don’t know many people on the big 3 that can grow their hair as long as I have been able to. I am going to actually try and grow it as long as I can before I get it cut again.

          I always thought people like Bradley cooper had minor work done. But now I think if he was given the right advice, that maybe he didn’t even have work done.

  6. Quentin sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she is receiving the best treatment that can be provided.
    As for hairloss, I’d love to have your hair! Lol
    Can you supply a link to the exact NAC cysteine product that you?…I thought NAC was illegal to purchase anymore. No?


      I know there is a type that is no longer available for purchase. I’m not sure exactly what type. I will research, the reason it was taken off the market was because it was causing kidney stones (very rarely) . So if you read this link you will see it’s a modified version.

      And everyone I am sorry if it takes me some time to reply as I have alot going on at the moment. I will try to respond and check this as much as possible

      1. I really appreciate all your helpful comments Quentin!

        Only issue I always have with such treatments is why me (and many other balding men) never have problems growing thick body and beard hair. Why do those not need any kind of amino acid, vitamin and Minoxidil supplements?

        (My father in contrast has very little body hair, but great head hair for his age).

        1. That is a very good point to address.
          Genetics are an important factor
          The hair on your head is different to beard and body hair.
          As we know each hair follicle on the scalp has receptors. Those receptors need aminos high in sulphur to be active and healthy.

          I haven’t tried this without minoxidil. Because I do believe minoxidil does help the blood flow to the follicles and if the blood has the correct nutrients the hair will grow.

          Hair is made up of mainly protein, the building blocks for protein are amino acids.

          Some aminos will also help reduce dht levels. I do think zinc can make hair grow faster and healthier.

            1. A funny little fact and this is true “females farts smell twice as bad as males because they produce more sulphur than males”
              Haha when I read that I laughed but also thought… Probably makes sense why it’s so rare for females to have pattern hair loss.

              Would it be ok if I posted an email that I can create if anyone wants to ask questions?
              I don’t want to clog up your threads.

              1. Sure you can post an email address.

                Although I have to add a disclaimer: any kind of third party product purchase and use by any site visitor is not the responsibility of HLC2020! Neither am I responsible if you get any side effects (hopefully only positive one)!


  7. Great hair Quentin, where do you get these things from? I’d be really interested in this as I currently only do zix saw palmetto and Mizoram for my dandruff. Thanks a ton.

    1. Create your own supplement is a good place. It’s in Australia..

      The more interest people are showing the more I think I should create my own supplements and ship them out around the world.
      I wonder how the FDA or tga would feel about that though.

  8. Thanks Quentin for the pics. Looks good bud. I am going to buy an amino acid complex vitamin. Hopefully it will add benefit to my rogaine.

  9. Hello Quentin
    Optimistic about your hair growth
    What is the method of use to obtain effective results?
    How many months for use or for life
    Please contact me on your email

  10. Hi guys I’m back. So I have a question if Finasteride stops working and you get on dutasteride will you notice a shed in the beginning? Or will you notice less shedding and hair feeling thicker? Thanks

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