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  1. Abstract On April 13, 2021, the CDC announced that the administration of Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine would be paused due to a rare blood clotting side effect in ~ 0.0001% of people given the vaccine. Most people who are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine list potential side effects as their main concern (PEW, 2021); thus, it is likely that this announcement increased vaccine hesitancy among the American public. Two days after the CDC’s announcement, we administered a survey to a group of 2,046 Americans to assess their changes in attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines. The aim of this study was to investigate whether viewing icon arrays of side effect risk would prevent increases in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy due to the announcement. We found that using icon arrays to illustrate the small chance of experiencing the blood clotting side effect significantly prevented increases in aversion toward the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as well as all other COVID-19 vaccines.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  3. As Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices rapidly gain popularity, they raise significant privacy concerns given the breadth of sensitive data they can capture. These concerns are amplified by the fact that in many situations, IoT devices collect data about people other than their owner or administrator, and these stakeholders have no say in how that data is managed, used, or shared. To address this, we propose a new model of ownership, IoT Ephemeral Ownership (TEO). TEO allows stakeholders to quickly register with an IoT device for a limited period, and thus claim co-ownership over the sensitive data that the device generates. Device admins retain the ability to decide who may become an ephemeral owner, but no longer have access or control to the private data generated by the device. The encrypted data in TEO is accessible only by entities after seeking explicit permission from the different co-owners of that data. We verify the key security properties of our protocol underpinning TEO in the symbolic model using ProVerif. We also implement a cross-platform prototype of TEO for mobile phones and embedded devices, and integrate it into three real-world application case studies. Our evaluation shows that the latency and battery impact of TEO ismore »typically small, adding ≤ 187 ms onto one-time operations, and introducing limited (<25%) overhead on recurring operations like private data storage.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2023
  4. Speed-dependent interlimb coordination allows animals to maintain stable locomotion under different circumstances. The V3 neurons are known to be involved in interlimb coordination. We previously modeled the locomotor spinal circuitry controlling interlimb coordination (Danner et al., 2017). This model included the local V3 neurons that mediate mutual excitation between left and right rhythm generators (RGs). Here, our focus was on V3 neurons involved in ascending long propriospinal interactions (aLPNs). Using retrograde tracing, we revealed a subpopulation of lumbar V3 aLPNs with contralateral cervical projections. V3 OFF mice, in which all V3 neurons were silenced, had a significantly reduced maximal locomotor speed, were unable to move using stable trot, gallop, or bound, and predominantly used a lateral-sequence walk. To reproduce this data and understand the functional roles of V3 aLPNs, we extended our previous model by incorporating diagonal V3 aLPNs mediating inputs from each lumbar RG to the contralateral cervical RG. The extended model reproduces our experimental results and suggests that locally projecting V3 neurons, mediating left–right interactions within lumbar and cervical cords, promote left–right synchronization necessary for gallop and bound, whereas the V3 aLPNs promote synchronization between diagonal fore and hind RGs necessary for trot. The model proposes the organizationmore »of spinal circuits available for future experimental testing.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 27, 2023
  5. Abstract Background Biological mutagens (such as transposon) with sequences inserted, play a crucial role to link observed phenotype and genotype in reverse genetic studies. For this reason, accurate and efficient software tools for identifying insertion sites based on the analysis of sequencing reads are desired. Results We developed a bioinformatics tool, a Finder, to identify genome-wide Insertions in Mutagenesis (named as “InMut-Finder”), based on target sequences and flanking sequences from long reads, such as Oxford Nanopore Sequencing. InMut-Finder succeeded in identify > 100 insertion sites in Medicago truncatula and soybean mutants based on sequencing reads of whole-genome DNA or enriched insertion-site DNA fragments. Insertion sites discovered by InMut-Finder were validated by PCR experiments. Conclusion InMut-Finder is a comprehensive and powerful tool for automated insertion detection from Nanopore long reads. The simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility of InMut-Finder make it a valuable tool for functional genomics and forward and reverse genetics. InMut-Finder was implemented with Perl, R, and Shell scripts, which are independent of the OS. The source code and instructions can be accessed at https://github.com/jsg200830/InMut-Finder .
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  7. Two popular optimal search-based solvers for the multi-agent pathfinding (MAPF) problem, Conflict-Based Search (CBS) and Increasing Cost Tree Search (ICTS), have been extended separately for continuous time domains and symmetry breaking. However, an approach to symmetry breaking in continuous time domains remained elusive. In this work, we introduce a new algorithm, Conflict-Based Increasing Cost Search (CBICS), which is capable of symmetry breaking in continuous time domains by combining the strengths of CBS and ICTS. Our experiments show that CBICS often finds solutions faster than CBS and ICTS in both unit time and continuous time domains.