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  1. Abstract

    The degree of polarization in many societies has become a pressing concern in media studies. Typically, it is argued that the internet and social media have created more media producers than ever before, allowing individual, biased media consumers to expose themselves only to what already confirms their beliefs, leading to polarized echo-chambers that further deepen polarization. This work introduces extensions to the recent Cognitive Cascades model of Rabb et al. to study this dynamic, allowing for simulation of information spread between media and networks of variably biased citizens. Our results partially confirm the above polarization logic, but also reveal several important enabling conditions for polarization to occur: (1) the distribution of media belief must be more polarized than the population; (2) the population must be at least somewhat persuadable to changing their belief according to new messages they hear; and finally, (3) the media must statically continue to broadcast more polarized messages rather than, say, adjust to appeal more to the beliefs of their current subscribers. Moreover, and somewhat counter-intuitively, under these conditions we find that polarization is more likely to occur when media consumers are exposed to more diverse messages, and that polarization occurred most often when there were low levels of echo-chambers and fragmentation. These results suggest that polarization is not simply due to biased individuals responding to an influx of media sources in the digital age, but also a consequence of polarized media conditions within an information ecosystem that supports more diverse exposure than is typically thought.

     
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  2. Abstract Summary

    Computational methods to predict protein–protein interaction (PPI) typically segregate into sequence-based ‘bottom-up’ methods that infer properties from the characteristics of the individual protein sequences, or global ‘top-down’ methods that infer properties from the pattern of already known PPIs in the species of interest. However, a way to incorporate top-down insights into sequence-based bottom-up PPI prediction methods has been elusive. We thus introduce Topsy-Turvy, a method that newly synthesizes both views in a sequence-based, multi-scale, deep-learning model for PPI prediction. While Topsy-Turvy makes predictions using only sequence data, during the training phase it takes a transfer-learning approach by incorporating patterns from both global and molecular-level views of protein interaction. In a cross-species context, we show it achieves state-of-the-art performance, offering the ability to perform genome-scale, interpretable PPI prediction for non-model organisms with no existing experimental PPI data. In species with available experimental PPI data, we further present a Topsy-Turvy hybrid (TT-Hybrid) model which integrates Topsy-Turvy with a purely network-based model for link prediction that provides information about species-specific network rewiring. TT-Hybrid makes accurate predictions for both well- and sparsely-characterized proteins, outperforming both its constituent components as well as other state-of-the-art PPI prediction methods. Furthermore, running Topsy-Turvy and TT-Hybrid screens is feasible for whole genomes, and thus these methods scale to settings where other methods (e.g. AlphaFold-Multimer) might be infeasible. The generalizability, accuracy and genome-level scalability of Topsy-Turvy and TT-Hybrid unlocks a more comprehensive map of protein interaction and organization in both model and non-model organisms.

    Availability and implementation

    https://topsyturvy.csail.mit.edu.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

     
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  3. Abstract Motivation

    Protein function prediction, based on the patterns of connection in a protein–protein interaction (or association) network, is perhaps the most studied of the classical, fundamental inference problems for biological networks. A highly successful set of recent approaches use random walk-based low-dimensional embeddings that tend to place functionally similar proteins into coherent spatial regions. However, these approaches lose valuable local graph structure from the network when considering only the embedding. We introduce GLIDER, a method that replaces a protein–protein interaction or association network with a new graph-based similarity network. GLIDER is based on a variant of our previous GLIDE method, which was designed to predict missing links in protein–protein association networks, capturing implicit local and global (i.e. embedding-based) graph properties.

    Results

    GLIDER outperforms competing methods on the task of predicting GO functional labels in cross-validation on a heterogeneous collection of four human protein–protein association networks derived from the 2016 DREAM Disease Module Identification Challenge, and also on three different protein–protein association networks built from the STRING database. We show that this is due to the strong functional enrichment that is present in the local GLIDER neighborhood in multiple different types of protein–protein association networks. Furthermore, we introduce the GLIDER graph neighborhood as a way for biologists to visualize the local neighborhood of a disease gene. As an application, we look at the local GLIDER neighborhoods of a set of known Parkinson’s Disease GWAS genes, rediscover many genes which have known involvement in Parkinson’s disease pathways, plus suggest some new genes to study.

    Availability and implementation

    All code is publicly available and can be accessed here: https://github.com/kap-devkota/GLIDER.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

     
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  4. Various algorithmic and statistical approaches have been proposed to uncover functionally coherent network motifs consisting of sets of genes that may occur as compensatory pathways (called Between Pathway Modules, or BPMs) in a high-throughput S. Cerevisiae genetic interaction network. We extend our previous Local-Cut/Genecentric method to also make use of a spectral clustering of the physical interaction network, and uncover some interesting new fault-tolerant modules. 
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  5. Remote scientific collaborations have been pivotal in generating scientific discoveries and breakthroughs that accelerate research in many fields. Emerging VR applications for remote work, which utilize commercially available head-mounted displays (HMDs), offer the promise to enhance collaboration, through spatial and embodied experiences. However, there is little evidence on how professionals in general, and scientists in particular, could use existing commercial VR applications to support their cognitive and creative collaborative processes while exploring real-world data as part of day-to-day collaborative work. In this paper, we present findings from an empirical study with 14 coral reef scientists, examining how they chose to utilize available resources in existing virtual environments for their ongoing data-driven collaborative research. We shed light on scientists’ data organization practices, identify affordances unique to VR for supporting cognition in a collaborative setting, and highlight design requirements for supporting cognitive and creative collaboration processes in future tools. 
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