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  1. Abstract

    Understanding the complex growth and metabolic dynamics in microorganisms requires advanced kinetic models containing both metabolic reactions and enzymatic regulation to predict phenotypic behaviors under different conditions and perturbations. Most current kinetic models lack gene expression dynamics and are separately calibrated to distinct media, which consequently makes them unable to account for genetic perturbations or multiple substrates. This challenge limits our ability to gain a comprehensive understanding of microbial processes towards advanced metabolic optimizations that are desired for many biotechnology applications. Here, we present an integrated computational and experimental approach for the development and optimization of mechanistic kinetic models for microbial growth and metabolic and enzymatic dynamics. Our approach integrates growth dynamics, gene expression, protein secretion, and gene‐deletion phenotypes. We applied this methodology to build a dynamic model of the growth kinetics in batch culture of the bacteriumCellvibrio japonicusgrown using either cellobiose or glucose media. The model parameters were inferred from an experimental data set using an evolutionary computation method. The resulting model was able to explain the growth dynamics ofC. japonicususing either cellobiose or glucose media and was also able to accurately predict the metabolite concentrations in the wild‐type strain as well as in β‐glucosidase gene deletion mutant strains. We validated the model by correctly predicting the non‐diauxic growth and metabolite consumptions of the wild‐type strain in a mixed medium containing both cellobiose and glucose, made further predictions of mutant strains growth phenotypes when using cellobiose and glucose media, and demonstrated the utility of the model for designing industrially‐useful strains. Importantly, the model is able to explain the role of the different β‐glucosidases and their behavior under genetic perturbations. This integrated approach can be extended to other metabolic pathways to produce mechanistic models for the comprehensive understanding of enzymatic functions in multiple substrates.

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  2. Atmospheric gravity waves are produced when gravity attempts to restore disturbances through stable layers in the atmosphere. They have a visible effect on many atmospheric phenomena such as global circulation and air turbulence. Despite their importance, however, little research has been conducted on how to detect gravity waves using machine learning algorithms. We faced two major challenges in our research: our raw data had a lot of noise and the labeled dataset was extremely small. In this study, we explored various methods of preprocessing and transfer learning in order to address those challenges. We pre-trained an autoencoder on unlabeled data before training it to classify labeled data. We also created a custom CNN by combining certain pre-trained layers from the InceptionV3 Model trained on ImageNet with custom layers and a custom learning rate scheduler. Experiments show that our best model outperformed the best performing baseline model by 6.36% in terms of test accuracy. 
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  3. Proton beam therapy is a unique form of radiotherapy that utilizes protons to treat cancer by irradiating cancerous tumors, while avoiding unnecessary radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. Real-time imaging of the proton beam can make this form of therapy more precise and safer for the patient during delivery. The use of Compton cameras is one proposed method for the real-time imaging of prompt gamma rays that are emitted by the proton beams as they travel through a patient’s body. Unfortunately, some of the Compton camera data is flawed and the reconstruction algorithm yields noisy and insufficiently detailed images to evaluate the proton delivery for the patient. Previous work used a deep residual fully connected neural network. The use of recurrent neural networks (RNNs) has been proposed, since they use recurrence relationships to make potentially better predictions. In this work, RNN architectures using two different recurrent layers are tested, the LSTM and the GRU. Although the deep residual fully connected neural network achieves over 75% testing accuracy and our models achieve only over 73% testing accuracy, the simplicity of our RNN models containing only 6 hidden layers as opposed to 512 is a significant advantage. Importantly in a clinical setting, the time to load the model from disk is significantly faster, potentially enabling the use of Compton camera image reconstruction in real-time during patient treatment. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument onboard NASA’s Terra (launched in 1999) and Aqua (launched in 2002) satellite missions as part of the more extensive Earth Observation System (EOS). By measuring the reflection and emission by the Earth-Atmosphere system in 36 spectral bands from the visible to thermal infrared with near-daily global coverage and high-spatial-resolution (250 m ~ 1 km at nadir), MODIS is playing a vital role in developing validated, global, interactive Earth system models. MODIS products are processed into three levels, i.e., Level-1 (L1), Level-2 (L2) and Level-3 (L3). To shift the current static and “one-size-fits-all” data provision method of MODIS products, in this paper, we propose a service-oriented flexible and efficient MODIS aggregation framework. Using this framework, users only need to get aggregated MODIS L3 data based on their unique requirements and the aggregation can run in parallel to achieve a speedup. The experiments show that our aggregation results are almost identical to the current MODIS L3 products and our parallel execution with 8 computing nodes can work 88.63 times faster than a serial code execution on a single node. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    The Arctic sea ice has retreated rapidly in the past few decades, which is believed to be driven by various dynamic and thermodynamic processes in the atmosphere. The newly open water resulted from sea ice decline in turn exerts large influence on the atmosphere. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the causality between multiple atmospheric processes and sea ice variations using three distinct data-driven causality approaches that have been proposed recently: Temporal Causality Discovery Framework Non-combinatorial Optimization via Trace Exponential and Augmented lagrangian for Structure learning (NOTEARS) and Directed Acyclic Graph-Graph Neural Networks (DAG-GNN). We apply these three algorithms to 39 years of historical time-series data sets, which include 11 atmospheric variables from ERA-5 reanalysis product and passive microwave satellite retrieved sea ice extent. By comparing the causality graph results of these approaches with what we summarized from the literature, it shows that the static graphs produced by NOTEARS and DAG-GNN are relatively reasonable. The results from NOTEARS indicate that relative humidity and precipitation dominate sea ice changes among all variables, while the results from DAG-GNN suggest that the horizontal and meridional wind are more important for driving sea ice variations. However, both approaches produce some unrealistic cause-effect relationships. Additionally, these three methods cannot well detect the delayed impact of one variable on another in the Arctic. It also turns out that the results are rather sensitive to the choice of hyperparameters of the three methods. As a pioneer study, this work paves the way to disentangle the complex causal relationships in the Earth system, by taking the advantage of cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence technologies. 
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    Identifying dust aerosols from passive satellite images is of great interest for many applications. In this study, we developed five different machine-learning (ML) based algorithms, including Logistic Regression, K Nearest Neighbor, Random Forest (RF), Feed Forward Neural Network (FFNN), and Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), to identify dust aerosols in the daytime satellite images from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) under cloud-free conditions on a global scale. In order to train the ML algorithms, we collocated the state-of-the-art dust detection product from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) with the VIIRS observations along the CALIOP track. The 16 VIIRS M-band observations with the center wavelength ranging from deep blue to thermal infrared, together with solar-viewing geometries and pixel time and locations, are used as the predictor variables. Four different sets of training input data are constructed based on different combinations of VIIRS pixel and predictor variables. The validation and comparison results based on the collocated CALIOP data indicate that the FFNN method based on all available predictor variables is the best performing one among all methods. It has an averaged dust detection accuracy of about 81%, 89%, and 85% over land, ocean and whole globe, respectively, compared with collocated CALIOP. When applied to off-track VIIRS pixels, the FFNN method retrieves geographical distributions of dust that are in good agreement with on-track results as well as CALIOP statistics. For further evaluation, we compared our results based on the ML algorithms to NOAA’s Aerosol Detection Product (ADP), which is a product that classifies dust, smoke, and ash using physical-based methods. The comparison reveals both similarity and differences. Overall, this study demonstrates the great potential of ML methods for dust detection and proves that these methods can be trained on the CALIOP track and then applied to the whole granule of VIIRS granule. 
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