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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Interactions between ionic liquids and biomolecules are of great interest due to the intrinsic properties of ionic liquids and the flexibility allowed by mixing and matching cations and anions to create unique ionic liquids. A number of ionic liquid–biomolecule studies have focused on interactions with proteins, including industrially relevant enzymes. One of these, laccase from Trametes versicolor, is a naturally derived enzyme used in the breakdown of phenolic compounds in a wide variety of industries, especially useful in breakdown of lignocellulosic materials. Here, a combination of experiments and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations was used to investigate the interactions of ionic liquids with laccase. Enzyme kinetics assays indicated that ionic liquids composed of tetramethylguanidine (TMG) and either serine or threonine caused significant reduction in enzymatic activity, while kinetics was not impacted by TMG-Asp or TMG-Glu ionic liquids. Similarly, intrinsic fluorescence of laccase in the presence of TMG-Ser and TMG-Thr exhibited a shift in spectral properties consistent with structural destabilization, but again TMG-Asp and TMG-Glu had no impact. MD simulations of laccase and ABTS with/without TMG-Ser ionic liquid provided insight into the deactivation mechanism of laccase. The simulations indicated that TMG-Ser disrupts laccase’s electron transfer mechanism.
  3. Content moderation is a critical service performed by a variety of people on social media, protecting users from offensive or harmful content by reviewing and removing either the content or the perpetrator. These moderators fall into one of two categories: employees or volunteers. Prior research has suggested that there are differences in the effectiveness of these two types of moderators, with the more transparent user-based moderation being useful for educating users. However, direct comparisons between commercially-moderated and user-moderated platforms are rare, and apart from the difference in transparency, we still know little about what other disparities in user experience these two moderator types may create. To explore this, we conducted cross-platform surveys of over 900 users of commercially-moderated (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube) and user-moderated (Reddit and Twitch) social media platforms. Our results indicated that although user-moderated platforms did seem to be more transparent than commercially-moderated ones, this did not lead to user-moderated platforms being perceived as less toxic. In addition, commercially-moderated platform users want companies to take more responsibility for content moderation than they currently do, while user-moderated platform users want designated moderators and those who post on the site to take more responsibility. Across platforms, users seem tomore »feel powerless and want to be taken care of when it comes to content moderation as opposed to engaging themselves.« less
  4. In the past decade, innovative protein therapies and bio-similar industries have grown rapidly. Additionally, ionic liquids (ILs) have been an area of great interest and rapid development in industrial processes over a similar timeline. Therefore, there is a pressing need to understand the structure and function of proteins in novel environments with ILs. Understanding the short-term and long-term stability of protein molecules in IL formulations will be key to using ILs for protein technologies. Similarly, ILs have been investigated as part of therapeutic delivery systems and implicated in numerous studies in which ILs impact the activity and/or stability of protein molecules. Notably, many of the proteins used in industrial applications are involved in redox chemistry, and thus often contain metal ions or metal-associated cofactors. In this review article, we focus on the current understanding of protein structure-function relationship in the presence of ILs, specifically focusing on the effect of ILs on metal containing proteins.