A new AI-driven platform can analyze how pathogens infect our cells with the same accuracy as a highly-trained biologist. Developed by scientists at the Francis Crick Institute and UCL, the platform called HRMAn ('Herman'), will assist biologists in diagnosis and research. HRMAn, known by its full name, Host Response to Microbe Analysis, has been made open source and is easy to use. The platform can be altered for different pathogens, including Salmonella enterica.
HRMAn works by using deep neural networks to find complex patterns in images of pathogen and human ('host') cell interactions. It is able to identify the same characteristics that scientists analyze by-hand. “What used to be a manual, time-consuming task for biologists now takes us a matter of minutes on a computer, enabling us to learn more about infectious pathogens and how our bodies respond to them, more quickly and more precisely,” says Eva Frickel, Group Leader at the Crick, who led the project.