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  1. Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) enables high throughput measurement of RNA expression in individual cells. Due to technical limitations, scRNA-seq data often contain zero counts for many transcripts in individual cells. These zero counts, or dropout events, complicate the analysis of scRNA-seq data using standard analysis methods developed for bulk RNA-seq data. Current scRNA-seq analysis methods typically overcome dropout by combining information across cells, leveraging the observation that cells generally occupy a small number of RNA expression states. We introduce netNMF-sc, an algorithm for scRNA-seq analysis that leverages information across both cells and genes. netNMF-sc combines network-regularized non-negative matrix factorization with a procedure for handling zero inflation in transcript count matrices. The matrix factorization results in a low-dimensional representation of the transcript count matrix, which imputes gene abundance for both zero and non-zero entries and can be used to cluster cells. The network regularization leverages prior knowledge of gene-gene interactions, encouraging pairs of genes with known interactions to be close in the low-dimensional representation. We show that netNMF-sc outperforms existing methods on simulated and real scRNA-seq data, with increasing advantage at higher dropout rates (e.g. above 60%). Furthermore, we show that the results from netNMF-sc -- including estimation of gene-gene covariance -- are robust to choice of network, with more representative networks leading to greater performance gains. 
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  2. Abstract

    The northern acorn barnacle (Semibalanus balanoides) is a robust system to study the genetic basis of adaptations to highly heterogeneous environments. Adult barnacles may be exposed to highly dissimilar levels of thermal stress depending on where they settle in the intertidal (i.e., closer to the upper or lower tidal boundary). For instance, barnacles near the upper tidal limit experience episodic summer temperatures above recorded heat coma levels. This differential stress at the microhabitat level is also dependent on the aspect of sun exposure. In the present study, we used pool‐seq approaches to conduct a genome wide screen for loci responding to intertidal zonation across the North Atlantic basin (Maine, Rhode Island, and Norway). Our analysis discovered 382 genomic regions containing SNPs which are consistently zonated (i.e., SNPs whose frequencies vary depending on their position in the rocky intertidal) across all surveyed habitats. Notably, most zonated SNPs are young and private to the North Atlantic. These regions show high levels of genetic differentiation across ecologically extreme microhabitats concomitant with elevated levels of genetic variation and Tajima'sD, suggesting the action of non‐neutral processes. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that spatially heterogeneous selection is a general and repeatable feature for this species, and that natural selection can maintain functional genetic variation in heterogeneous environments.

     
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