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  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Background Cryo-EM data generated by electron tomography (ET) contains images for individual protein particles in different orientations and tilted angles. Individual cryo-EM particles can be aligned to reconstruct a 3D density map of a protein structure. However, low contrast and high noise in particle images make it challenging to build 3D density maps at intermediate to high resolution (1–3 Å). To overcome this problem, we propose a fully automated cryo-EM 3D density map reconstruction approach based on deep learning particle picking. Results A perfect 2D particle mask is fully automatically generated for every single particle. Then, it uses a computer vision image alignment algorithm (image registration) to fully automatically align the particle masks. It calculates the difference of the particle image orientation angles to align the original particle image. Finally, it reconstructs a localized 3D density map between every two single-particle images that have the largest number of corresponding features. The localized 3D density maps are then averaged to reconstruct a final 3D density map. The constructed 3D density map results illustrate the potential to determine the structures of the molecules using a few samples of good particles. Also, using the localized particle samples (with no background) to generate the localized 3D density maps can improve the process of the resolution evaluation in experimental maps of cryo-EM. Tested on two widely used datasets, Auto3DCryoMap is able to reconstruct good 3D density maps using only a few thousand protein particle images, which is much smaller than hundreds of thousands of particles required by the existing methods. Conclusions We design a fully automated approach for cryo-EM 3D density maps reconstruction (Auto3DCryoMap). Instead of increasing the signal-to-noise ratio by using 2D class averaging, our approach uses 2D particle masks to produce locally aligned particle images. Auto3DCryoMap is able to accurately align structural particle shapes. Also, it is able to construct a decent 3D density map from only a few thousand aligned particle images while the existing tools require hundreds of thousands of particle images. Finally, by using the pre-processed particle images,Auto3DCryoMap reconstructs a better 3D density map than using the original particle images. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Background Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) is widely used in the determination of the three-dimensional (3D) structures of macromolecules. Particle picking from 2D micrographs remains a challenging early step in the Cryo-EM pipeline due to the diversity of particle shapes and the extremely low signal-to-noise ratio of micrographs. Because of these issues, significant human intervention is often required to generate a high-quality set of particles for input to the downstream structure determination steps. Results Here we propose a fully automated approach (DeepCryoPicker) for single particle picking based on deep learning. It first uses automated unsupervised learning to generate particle training datasets. Then it trains a deep neural network to classify particles automatically. Results indicate that the DeepCryoPicker compares favorably with semi-automated methods such as DeepEM, DeepPicker, and RELION, with the significant advantage of not requiring human intervention. Conclusions Our framework combing supervised deep learning classification with automated un-supervised clustering for generating training data provides an effective approach to pick particles in cryo-EM images automatically and accurately. 
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