Network Analysis Uncovers Advantageous Adaptations in a Viral Enzyme

A year’s worth of mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) were analyzed by NCASD member Elizabeth M. Diessner, in collaboration with Gemma R. Takahashi from the Martin Lab, to investigate how adaptations of the viral protein may contribute to the spread of the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic. Published in Biochemistry, this paper details …

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Network Hamiltonian Models Provide Access to Scalable Protein Aggregation Simulations

Aggregation of γD-crystallin proteins in the eye lens are a known cause of both genetic and age-related cataract disease. Models of these aggregates are difficult to produce due to the size and complexity of traditional Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. In this paper, published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, NCASD member Liz Diessner and …

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Summer Conferences with NCASD

This summer, NCASD members were honored to present at both the Sunbelt Networks Conference and the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Our members presented the following talks: Sunbelt Networks Conference “Changing the Subject: The Structure of Causal Narratives in Official COVID-19 Communications”, Speaker: Sabrina Mai. Section: Words and Networks “Affinity and Hierarchy of the International …

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Member Scott L. Renshaw Accepts Post-Doc at CMU

Scott L. Renshaw has accepted a Post-Doctoral Associate research position at the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University. He will be working with Professor Kathleen Carley in the Center for Informed Democracy & Social Cybersecurity, CMU’s center for disinformation, hate speech, and extremism online. Congratulation, Scott!

Peng Huang Profile

Lab member Peng Huang awarded prestigious Mathematical Sociology’s Geoffrey Tootell Mathematical Sociology Outstanding Dissertation-in-Progress Award

Congratulation to current lab member Peng Huang, who has been awarded The Section on Mathematical Sociology’s Geoffrey Tootell Mathematical Sociology Outstanding Dissertation-in-Progress Award! From the American Sociological Association Mathematical Sociologist Newsletter (Summer 2022 Vol. 26 No. 1): “Huang demonstrates a strong and promising record as a junior researcher in the field of mathematical sociology. The …

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Alumni Zack Almquist Honored with NSF Career Award

Zack Almquist, UCI Alumni and assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington, has been honored with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project entitled, “CAREER: Measuring and Modeling the Multi-Modal Networks and Demographics of People Experiencing Homelessness”. The CAREER award is …

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graph depicting probability of infection based on intermediate vertex count

Use of Social Contact Networks to Study COVID-19 Diffusion Drivers in Cities

With the explosive increase in COVID-19 infections across urban environments during March of 2020, questions about how it spreads unevenly across cities needed to be addressed. NCASD researchers Loring Thomas, Peng Huang, Fan Yin, Junlan Xu and Carter Butts, in collaboration with John Hipp and NCASD alumnus Zack Almquist (University of Washington) investigated the geographical …

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Novel Use Of Neural Nets To Convert PSNs To 3D Atomistic Structures

  A recent collaboration between Dr. Vy Duong, Dr. Gianmarc Grazioli, and current NCASD member Liz Diessner, published in Biomolecules, illustrates the utility of Neural Networks for retrieving atomistic detail from Protein Structure Networks (PSNs) to reconstruct 3D molecular models. The ability to convert between coarse-grained PSNs and their detailed atomistic structure analogs allows researchers …

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Reactive oxygen bang, illustrated in a hand-drawn comic style.

Studying Radical Movements Under Pressure

Radiation is a hazard to all living organisms, damaging cellular systems at the molecular level.  Much of this damage is not due to the direct impact of radiation on cells, but the interaction of radiation with water to produce reactive oxygen species that react with and degrade biomolecules.  Like tiny bombs, these small molecules diffuse through the …

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