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  1. In Proceedings of the 10th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation (BuildSys '23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 
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  2. Abstract

    Genes in SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses in the order ofNidoviralesare expressed by a process of discontinuous transcription which is distinct from alternative splicing in eukaryotes and is mediated by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Here, we introduce the DISCONTINUOUS TRANSCRIPT ASSEMBLYproblem of finding transcripts and their abundances given an alignment of paired-end short reads under a maximum likelihood model that accounts for varying transcript lengths. We show, using simulations, that our method, JUMPER, outperforms existing methods for classical transcript assembly. On short-read data of SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV samples, we find that JUMPER not only identifies canonical transcripts that are part of the reference transcriptome, but also predicts expression of non-canonical transcripts that are supported by subsequent orthogonal analyses. Moreover, application of JUMPER on samples with and without treatment reveals viral drug response at the transcript level. As such, JUMPER enables detailed analyses ofNidoviralestranscriptomes under varying conditions.

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  3. Inflammation and oxidative stress in pancreatic islets amplify the appearance of various posttranslational modifications to self-proteins. In this study, we identified a select group of carbonylated islet proteins arising before the onset of hyperglycemia in NOD mice. Of interest, we identified carbonyl modification of the prolyl-4-hydroxylase β subunit (P4Hb) that is responsible for proinsulin folding and trafficking as an autoantigen in both human and murine type 1 diabetes. We found that carbonylated P4Hb is amplified in stressed islets coincident with decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and altered proinsulin-to-insulin ratios. Autoantibodies against P4Hb were detected in prediabetic NOD mice and in early human type 1 diabetes prior to the onset of anti-insulin autoimmunity. Moreover, we identify autoreactive CD4+ T-cell responses toward carbonyl-P4Hb epitopes in the circulation of patients with type 1 diabetes. Our studies provide mechanistic insight into the pathways of proinsulin metabolism and in creating autoantigenic forms of insulin in type 1 diabetes. 
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  4. Abstract

    Machine learning has been increasingly used for protein engineering. However, because the general sequence contexts they capture are not specific to the protein being engineered, the accuracy of existing machine learning algorithms is rather limited. Here, we report ECNet (evolutionary context-integrated neural network), a deep-learning algorithm that exploits evolutionary contexts to predict functional fitness for protein engineering. This algorithm integrates local evolutionary context from homologous sequences that explicitly model residue-residue epistasis for the protein of interest with the global evolutionary context that encodes rich semantic and structural features from the enormous protein sequence universe. As such, it enables accurate mapping from sequence to function and provides generalization from low-order mutants to higher-order mutants. We show that ECNet predicts the sequence-function relationship more accurately as compared to existing machine learning algorithms by using ~50 deep mutational scanning and random mutagenesis datasets. Moreover, we used ECNet to guide the engineering of TEM-1 β-lactamase and identified variants with improved ampicillin resistance with high success rates.

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  9. Gradient-based approximate inference methods, such as Stein variational gradient descent (SVGD), provide simple and general-purpose inference engines for differentiable continuous distributions. However, existing forms of SVGD cannot be directly applied to discrete distributions. In this work, we fill this gap by proposing a simple yet general framework that transforms discrete distributions to equivalent piecewise continuous distributions, on which the gradient-free SVGD is applied to perform efficient approximate inference. The empirical results show that our method outperforms traditional algorithms such as Gibbs sampling and discontinuous Hamiltonian Monte Carlo on various challenging benchmarks of discrete graphical models. We demonstrate that our method provides a promising tool for learning ensembles of binarized neural network (BNN), outperforming other widely used ensemble methods on learning binarized AlexNet on CIFAR-10 dataset. In addition, such transform can be straightforwardly employed in gradient-free kernelized Stein discrepancy to perform goodness-of-fit (GOF) test on discrete distributions. Our proposed method outperforms existing GOF test methods for intractable discrete distributions. 
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