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  1. Abstract Concerns regarding inappropriate leakage of sensitive personal information as well as unauthorized data use are increasing with the growth of genomic data repositories. Therefore, privacy and security of genomic data have become increasingly important and need to be studied. With many proposed protection techniques, their applicability in support of biomedical research should be well understood. For this purpose, we have organized a community effort in the past 8 years through the integrating data for analysis, anonymization and sharing consortium to address this practical challenge. In this article, we summarize our experience from these competitions, report lessons learned from the events in 2020/2021 as examples, and discuss potential future research directions in this emerging field. 
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  2. We have developed a lattice Monte Carlo (MC) simulation based on the diffusion-limited aggregation model that accounts for the effect of the physical properties of small ions such as inorganic ions and large salt ions that mimic ionic liquids (ILs) on lithium dendrite growth. In our cellular automaton model, molecular and atomistic details are largely coarse-grained to reduce the number of model parameters. During lithium deposition, the cations of the salt and ILs form positively charged electrostatic shields around the tip of the dendrites, and the anions of the salt and ILs form negative local potential lumps in adjacent areas to the dendrite. Both of the effects change the distribution of the electrostatic potential and notably inhibit dendrite formation between electrodes. The applied voltage and the physical properties of the salt ions and ILs, such as the size of the ions, the size asymmetry between the cation and anion, the dielectric constant, the excluded volume of the ions, and the model parameter η , notably affect electric-field screening and hence the variation in the local potential, resulting in substantial changes in the aspect ratio and the average height of the dendrites. Our present results suggest that the large salts such as ILs more significantly inhibit the dendrite growth than the small ions, mainly because the ions highly dissociated in ILs can participate in electrostatic shielding to a greater degree. To reduce the computational complexity and burden of the MC simulation, we also constructed a surrogate model with ensemble neural networks. 
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  3. Temperature-dependent regulation of ion channel activity is critical for a variety of physiological processes ranging from immune response to perception of noxious stimuli. Our understanding of the structural mechanisms that underlie temperature sensing remains limited, in part due to the difficulty of combining high-resolution structural analysis with temperature stimulus. Here, we use NMR to compare the temperature-dependent behavior of Shaker potassium channel voltage sensor domain (WT-VSD) to its engineered temperature sensitive (TS-VSD) variant. Further insight into the molecular basis for temperature-dependent behavior is obtained by analyzing the experimental results together with molecular dynamics simulations. Our studies reveal that the overall secondary structure of the engineered TS-VSD is identical to the wild-type channels except for local changes in backbone torsion angles near the site of substitution (V369S and F370S). Remarkably however, these structural differences result in increased hydration of the voltage-sensing arginines and the S4–S5 linker helix in the TS-VSD at higher temperatures, in contrast to the WT-VSD. These findings highlight how subtle differences in the primary structure can result in large-scale changes in solvation and thereby confer increased temperature-dependent activity beyond that predicted by linear summation of solvation energies of individual substituents.

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  4. null (Ed.)