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Statistics of spatial rotations and projection directions considering molecular symmetry in 3D electron cryo-microscopy

By Mingxu Hu, Qi Zhang, Hai Lin

Posted 24 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.24.264952

Electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM) three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction is based on estimations of orientations of projection images or 3D volumes. It is common that the macromolecules studied by cryoEM have molecular symmetry, which, unfortunately, has not been taken into consideration by any statistics for either spatial rotations or projection directions at this point. Meanwhile, there are growing needs to adopt advanced statistical methods, and further, modern machine learning techniques in cryoEM. Since those methodologies are built heavily upon statistical learning cornerstones, the absence of their domain-specific statistical justification limits their applications in cryoEM. In this research, based on the concept of non-unique-games (NUG), we propose two key statistical measurements, the mean and the variance, of both spatial rotations and projection directions when molecular symmetry is considered. Such methods are implemented in the open-source python package pySymStat.

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