Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 09, 2009
Aphids borrowed bacterial genes to play host
Most aphids host mutualistic bacteria, Buchnera aphidicola, which live inside specialized cells called bacteriocytes.

Metastatic bone disease patients can walk in Lazarus' footsteps
Osteoplasty -- a highly effective minimally invasive procedure to treat the painful effects of metastatic bone disease by injecting bone cement to support weakened bones -- provides immediate and substantial pain relief, often presenting individuals who are suffering terribly with the miraculous so-called

Feeling down and out could break your heart, literally
New data published in the March 17, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggest that relatively healthy women with severe depression are at increased risk of cardiac events, including sudden cardiac death and fatal coronary heart disease.

Brown physicists play key role in single top quark discovery
Brown physicists have played a key role in observing particle collisions that produce a single top quark, one of the fundamental constituents of matter.

Quantum doughnuts slow and freeze light at will: 'Fast computing and slow glass'
Research led by the University of Warwick has found a way to use doughnuts shaped by-products of quantum dots to slow and even freeze light, opening up a wide range of possibilities from reliable and effective light based computing to the possibility of

Landmark paper compares scientific productivity and impact of top 100 AD investigators
IOS Press is pleased to announce the publication of a landmark study in which both traditional and highly innovative scientometric approaches are employed to measure scientific productivity and impact of the top 100 Alzheimer's disease investigators.

Getting into hot water
An analysis of the engineering and economics for a solar water-heating system shows it to have a payback period of just two years, according to researchers in India.

Study links inflammation and calcium signaling in heart attack
A new study led by University of Iowa researchers has found an unexpected new link between inflammation in heart muscle following a heart attack and a previously known enzyme called calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II or CaM kinase II.

Study prompts new mandate for N.C. high schools
A new study at Wake Forest University School of Medicine reveals that many N.C. high schools are not adequately prepared to handle the immediate medical needs of a student or employee who suffers a sudden cardiac arrest on campus.

Live fast, die young? Maybe not
The theory that a higher metabolism means a shorter lifespan may have reached the end of its own life, thanks to a study published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

DNA differences may influence risk of Hodgkin disease
A new analysis has found that certain variations in genes that repair DNA can affect a person's risk of developing Hodgkin disease.

NAS, NAE, and IOM presidents applaud President Obama's directives
On behalf of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, we applaud the orders issued by President Obama today.

New staging technique might save bladders in some bladder cancer patients
Pathologists reported encouraging results from a new tumor staging technique that could reduce the need to remove bladders from some patients.

New nanoporous material has highest surface area yet
University of Michigan researchers have developed a nanoporous material with a surface area significantly higher than that of any other porous material reported to date.

Portugal is our partner
The Portuguese president Aníbal Cavaco Silva visited Fraunhofer today, Europe's biggest organization for applied research.

Millie Dresselhaus to receive 2009 Vannevar Bush Award
Once dubbed the

March 14-15 Conference on Iraqi Higher Education
On March 14 and 15 the National Academies will co-host a conference with the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq.

UT Southwestern researchers probe mechanisms of infection
A newly discovered receptor in a strain of Escherichia coli might help explain why people often get sicker when they're stressed.

Coral reefs may start dissolving when atmospheric CO2 doubles
Rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting effects on ocean water are making it increasingly difficult for coral reefs to grow, say scientists.

Fermilab collider experiments discover rare single top quark
Scientists of the CDF and DZero collaborations at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have observed particle collisions that produce single top quarks.

A new view of oceanic phytoplankton
In a just-published paper in Nature, an international team of scientists, including two University of Hawaii at Manoa microbial oceanographers, describe a novel strategy for phytoplankton growth in the vast nutrient-poor habitats of tropical and subtropical seas.

Novel electric signals in plants
Scientists at the Justus Liebig University of Gießen and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena discovered a new form of electrical signaling in different plant species.

Chimp's stone throwing at zoo visitors was 'premeditated'
Researchers have found what they say is some of the first unambiguous evidence that an animal other than humans can make spontaneous plans for future events.

York conference will explore the future of software
The University of York is the venue for a major international research conference that will help to plot the roadmap for the future development of computer software.

THESEUS -- tool for Internet services
The improved use and exploitation of digital knowledge -- that is the aim of the THESEUS Project.

New research reveals how cranberry products prevent urinary tract infections
Chemicals present in cranberries -- and not the acidity of cranberry juice, as previously thought -- prevent infection-causing bacteria from attaching to the cells that line the urinary tract, as documented in a report published in Journal of Medicinal Food, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Troutlodge, University of Miami sign aquaculture agreement
The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has entered into an agreement with Troutlodge Marine to cooperate on the research and commercialization of cobia and other tropical marine fish species.

Satellite spies on tree-eating bugs
More than 150 years after a small Eurasian tree named tamarisk or saltcedar started taking over river banks throughout the US Southwest, saltcedar leaf beetles were unleashed to defoliate the exotic invader.

Carnegie gets excellent ratings for fiscal management
Carnegie has received the highest rating for sound fiscal management -- four stars -- from Charity Navigator for the eighth year running.

Red wine vs. white? It makes no difference when it comes to breast-cancer risk
The largest study of its kind to evaluate the effect of red vs. white wine on breast cancer risk concludes that both are equal offenders when it comes to increasing breast cancer risk.

Depression leads to higher health care costs for women cardiovascular patients, national study shows
Female cardiovascular patients who are depressed amass up to 53 percent higher costs in cardiovascular health care over five years, according to an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Transport behavior of E. coli varies depending on manure source
New research was conducted studying the transport behavior of different strains of E. coli in an attempt to understand their movement through water supplies.

Ophthalmologists should join with other clinicians in battle against diabetes
The prevalence of diabetes has doubled in the past decade, and the resulting increases in diabetes-related eye disease pose a new challenge to eye specialists, according to an editorial in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

SOX9 renders melanomas sensitive to retinoic acid and stops tumor growth
New research from the National Cancer Institute, to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, indicates that overexpression of the transcription factor SOX9 restores the sensitivity of mouse and human melanomas to the anticancer agent retinoic acid, thereby stopping tumor growth.

Oral quinacrine does not increase survival in patients with prion disease
The drug quinacrine does not increase survival in patients with prion disease.

Women with BRCA mutation, or worry, most likely to undergo prophylactic mastectomy
Women at increased risk for breast cancer because of the genetic BRCA mutations are more likely to think a prophylactic mastectomy is the best way to reduce their risk for the disease, compared to other women who are at high risk, according to researchers at the University of Texas M.

Montana State team finds Yellowstone alga that detoxifies arsenic
Montana State University scientist Tim McDermott and his collaborators have found Yellowstone alga that detoxifies arsenic.

Gift will allow Caltech and Cornell scientists to continue simulating warped space-time
The Sherman Fairchild Foundation has awarded $3.1 million to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to support the Caltech-Cornell Program for Simulation of eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) through 2013.

Freezing kidney cancer: Hot treatment should be new gold standard for destroying small tumors
Freezing kidney tumors -- using a safe minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment that kills the cancer 100 percent effectively without surgery -- should be the gold standard or first treatment option for all individuals with tumors that are 4 cm in size or smaller.

Show me your DNA and I'll tell you your eye color
More and more information is being gathered about how human genes influence medically relevant traits, such as the propensity to develop a certain disease.

Health insurance status associated with frequency of eye care visits
Individuals with no or inconsistent health care coverage appear less likely to regularly seek eye care, even if they are visually impaired, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Dust deposited in oceans may carry elements toxic to marine algae
Dust blown off the continents and deposited in the open ocean is an important source of nutrients for marine phytoplankton, the tiny algae that are the foundation of the ocean food web.

Carnegie Mellon's Manuela Veloso wins Autonomous Agents Research Award
Manuela M. Veloso, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University who studies how robots can learn, plan and work together to accomplish tasks, is the winner of the 2009 Autonomous Agents Research Award from the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (ACM/SIGART).

New published study demonstrates over-the-counter device lowers blood pressure in diabetic patients
InterCure Ltd. today announced a new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Hypertension.

Study tests reliability of more accurate measure of patient pain
A new study appearing in Pain Practice successfully established the reliability a newly developed device for assessing pain.

Turn back, wayward axon
To a growing axon, the protein RGMa is a

State-of-the-art electron microscope promises to aid major research advances
A $5 million grant from National Science Foundation's Division of Materials Research will enable Arizona State University to acquire the most advanced type of aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope.

Caltech biologists find optimistic worms are ready for rapid recovery
For the tiny soil-dwelling nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, life is usually a situation of feast or famine.

The curious chromosomes of a curious fruit
Incipient sex chromosomes have been found in New Zealand's eponymous export, the kiwifruit.

How increased UV exposure impacts plants
Bryophites are the first plant life to emerge from the water and develop on dry earth, and as such present an important measure in their ability to withstand increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Vitamin C intake associated with lower risk of gout in men
Men with higher vitamin C intake appear less likely to develop gout, a painful type of arthritis, according to a report in the March 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study: Doctor-patient conversations at end of life associated with lower medical expenses
Few physicians are eager to discuss end-of-life care with their patients.

Tiny brain region better part of valor
Piece of hypothalamus is key to animals' fear of territorial rivals and predators, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

UCF study: Hyperactivity enables children with ADHD to stay alert
In studies of 8- to 12-year-old boys, Professor Mark D.

Freezing prostate cancer does a man's body good
The so-called

Teenage boys who eat fish at least once a week achieve higher intelligence scores
Male teenagers who ate fish at least once a week at the age of 15 showed a 6 percent increase in intelligence scores at 18 and those who ate it more than once a week showed an 11 percent increase.

Genetically distinct carriers of Chagas disease-causing parasite live together
Researchers have found living together the known carrier species for the Chagas disease-causing parasite Triatoma dimidiata (also known as

Feeling down and out could break your heart, literally
New data published in the March 17, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggest that relatively healthy women with severe depression are at increased risk of cardiac events, including sudden cardiac death and fatal coronary heart disease.

Growth in military contracting blurs lines of accountability
The thriving use of private military contractors in place of citizen-soldiers allows nations to externalize the costs of war and outsource accountability during wartime, according to sociologist Katherine McCoy, writing in the winter 2009 issue of Contexts magazine.

Developing fruit fly embryo is capable of genetic corrections
New research, published in parallel this week in PLoS Biology and PLoS Computational Biology, addresses how living things can develop into precise, adult forms when there is so much variation present during their development stages.

Instant control for laser welding
A novel camera system has 25,000 processors integrated in its pixels which work together to analyze images the instant they are taken -- over 10 times faster than a computer.

New insights on heart's 'fight or flight' response to stress
Even for those without a heart condition, it's a peculiar feeling when your heart

Parkinson's disease treatment strategies appear to have similar long-term effects on disability
Patients with early Parkinson disease appear to have similar overall levels of disability and quality of life six years after beginning treatment with either levodopa or a dopamine agonist, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the May print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Research team co-led by UC Riverside physicist observes production of single-top-quarks
A group of scientists at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, co-led by physicist Ann Heinson of UC Riverside, has made the first observation of the production of single top quarks, fundamental building blocks of nature.

American Association for Cancer Research hosts 100th Annual Meeting 2009
The 100th AACR Annual Meeting 2009 features the latest findings in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research.

The difference between eye cells is...sumo?
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Washington University School of Medicine have identified a key to eye development -- a protein that regulates how the light-sensing nerve cells in the retina form.

Mutation of BRCA gene influences women's views of preventive mastectomy
Women whose cells harbor harmful mutations in the BRCA genes are likely to view preventive mastectomy as the best way to reduce their risk and fears of developing breast cancer, despite other, less drastic options available.

World first treatment for leukemia being developed in Australia
Two Australian research groups are undertaking pioneering studies into the causes of leukemia, potentially leading to patients receiving new drug treatments as early as next year.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- March 4, 2009
The American Chemical Society Weekly Press Package with reports from 34 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Signal opportunities on the slopes -- with RFID
Whether slalom or alpine skiing, competitive skiing is all about thousandths of a second.

Which research will help to reduce deaths from childhood diarrhea?
An international team of health researchers, writing in this week's PLoS Medicine, says that the number one research priority for reducing childhood deaths from diarrhea is to find ways to improve the acceptability and effectiveness of oral rehydration solution.

UH research team developing new noninvasive brain-mapping technology
Two Japanese scientists will arrive at the University of Houston next month to help develop a unique brain-mapping device that promises to deliver more comprehensive and accurate insights into the mind at a fraction of the cost of current technologies.

Substantial undercooling brings about microstructural change for ternary eutectic alloy
The Department of Applied Physics, Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, China-Research, has shown that the substantial undercooling of liquid state brings about novel microstructural transition for Al-Cu-Si ternary eutectic alloy.

It's your funeral: The eco burial movement gathers ground
Natural burial is often thought of as a green option that takes place in the countryside for nonreligious people, but according to researchers at the University of Sheffield, that is only part of the story.

Commonly used beauty staple clinically proven to help treat eczema
A new clinical study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology finds Albolene is as effective in reducing mild to moderate eczema as prescription Mimyx.

Extra medicare charges for the rich a slippery slope, expert says
A growing trend toward higher Medicare premiums for the richest Americans could ultimately creep into the retirement income of less-wealthy seniors, a University of Illinois expert on federal health insurance warns.

Study: Many terminally ill patients feel abandoned by their doctors
Terminally ill patients and their family caregivers often feel abandoned by their doctors and feel a sense of

American carnivores evolved to avoid each other, new study suggests
A large-scale analysis suggests that strategies that help America's carnivores stay away from each other have been a driving force in the evolution of many of these species, influencing such factors as whether they are active daytime or nighttime, whether they inhabit forests or grasslands, or live in trees or on the ground.

Researchers look at effects of weather, air pollution on headaches
A study of more than 7,000 patients, led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, provides some of the first large-scale data on how environmental conditions -- weather, as well as air pollution -- influence headache pain.

Worries about the future cited as a top reason for patients requesting physician-assisted suicide
Oregon patients who request physician aid in dying under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act do so not because of physical symptoms or their current quality of life.

Case Western Reserve awarded nearly $1 million from Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has been awarded an unrestricted grant along with three individual awards that could total up to $1 million by the Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation.

Metabolic and neurological disorders may share common risk factors
Metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes appear to share risk factors with and may influence the development of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, according to several reports published in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Spinning carbon nanotubes spawns new wireless applications
The University of Cincinnati has long been known for its world-record-breaking carbon nanotubes.

New 'pollution radar' developed to provide unprecedented picture of urban smog
Scientists and industrialists have invented a sophisticated new air quality measuring device that can act as a pollution radar over cities.

Gene therapy shows early promise for treating obesity
With obesity reaching epidemic levels, researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center are studying a potentially long-term treatment that involves injecting a gene directly into one of the critical feeding and weight control centers of the brain.

Patients being discharged against medical advice
When patients choose to leave the hospital before the treating physician recommends discharge, the consequences may involve risk of inadequately treated medical conditions and the need for readmission, according to a review in the March 2009 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Time is not on the side of older dads
University of Queensland research has revealed the older a dad is, the more likely his children will have reduced cognitive abilities.

Inserting catheters without X-rays
X-rays penetrate the patient's body, helping the doctor guide the catheter through the artery.

Insomnia often appears to be a persistent condition
About three-fourths of individuals with insomnia report experiencing the condition for at least one year and almost half experience it for three years, according to a report in the March 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Ka-Boom!!!
Ruggedized, self-contained cameras, similar in concept to the black box used in aircraft, would record video data that could be retrieved by investigators following a catastrophic incident.

Hebrew University scientist develop technique for eliminating reblockage of arteries
An easily implementable technique to avoid reblockage of arteries that have been cleared through angioplasty and stent insertion has been developed by researchers led by Prof.

Helium helps lung patients breathe easier
New research published in the international journal Chest, by Neil Eves, Ph.D., finds that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who breathed a mix of 60 percent helium and 40 percent oxygen during a rehabilitation program were able to exercise longer and harder than those who breathed normal air.

Lobster traps going high tech
New England lobstermen have gone high tech by adding low-cost instruments to their lobster pots that record bottom temperature and provide data that could help ocean circulation modelers better understand processes in the Gulf of Maine, such as how lobster larvae and other planktonic animals and plants, including those that cause harmful algal blooms, drift and settle.

Studies investigate health care at the end of life
Patients with advanced cancer who discuss end-of-life care with their physicians appear to have lower health care costs in the final week of life than those who do not, according to a report in the March 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

What drove the cow mad? Lessons from a tiny fish
Scientists have known for some time that a normal protein in the brain, prion protein (PrP), can turn harmful and cause deadly illnesses like CJD in humans, and BSE in cattle.

Oh, my aching back: Give me a shot of ozone
A minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment -- that safely and effectively uses oxygen/ozone to relieve the pain of herniated disks -- will become standard in the United States in the next few years, predict researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 34th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Sea Grant awards $820,000 for research under EPA's Long Island Sound study
The Sea Grant programs of Connecticut and New York have awarded nearly $820,000 in Long Island Sound Study research grants to five projects that will look into some of the most serious threats to the ecological health of Long Island Sound.

Nancy Brinker to receive 2009 Porter Prize
Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, will be the 2009 recipient of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health's Porter Prize in recognition of her outstanding achievements promoting health and preventing disease.

Amazonian amphibian diversity traced to Andes
Colorful poison frogs in the Amazon owe their great diversity to ancestors that leapt into the region from the Andes Mountains several times during the last 10 million years, a new study from the University of Texas at Austin suggests.

King's Health Partners named as one of UK's first Academic Health Science Centers
King's Health Partners -- a unique collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts -- has today been formally accredited as one of the UK's first Academic Health Science Centers.

When it comes to drinking, college men not looking for a 'girl gone wild'
College women may be drinking to excess to impress their male counterparts on campuses across the country, but a new study suggests most college men are not looking for a woman to match them drink for drink.

For old or young dialysis patients, AV fistulas remain pure gold
A new study shows that for those individuals with chronic kidney disease, it doesn't matter if you're young or old: arteriovenous (AV) fistulas remain the gold standard for maintaining access to one's circulatory system to provide life-sustaining dialysis.

Does air pollution or weather trigger headaches?
A new study shows that higher temperatures and lower barometric air pressure may lead to a higher, short-term risk of headaches, but air pollution may not have a significant effect on headache.

Rockefeller University president applauds new US policy on stem cells
Today's executive order making federal money once again available for research on human embryonic stem cells will accelerate biomedical research and hopefully bring us closer to cures for some of our most devastating diseases, says Rockefeller University president Paul Nurse.

Anesthesia is found to induce hyperphosphorylation of tau at sites related to Alzheimer's disease
Scientists from The NY State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities' NY State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities report today in the March issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease that anesthesia induces phosphorylation of tau, a key neuronal protein involved in neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease and several other neurodegenerative disorders.

Older air traffic controllers perform as well as young on job-related tasks
In a study that challenges the mandatory retirement of air traffic controllers at the age of 56 in the US, researchers have found that air traffic controllers up to age 64 perform as well as their young colleagues on complex, job-related tasks.

Children of older fathers perform less well in intelligence tests during infancy
Children of older fathers perform less well in a range of cognitive tests during infancy and early childhood, according to a study published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine.

High prevalence of child marriage in India fuels fertility risks
Despite India's economic and educational reform efforts in the last decade, the prevalence of child marriage remains high, fueling the risks of multiple unwanted pregnancies, pregnancy terminations and female sterilizations, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.

Diabetes and elevated levels of cholesterol linked to faster cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients
A history of diabetes and elevated levels of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, are associated with faster cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from Columbia University Medical Center researchers.

Anger and hostility harmful to the heart, especially among men
Anger and hostility are significantly associated with both a higher risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy individuals and poorer outcomes in patients with existing heart disease, according to the first quantitative review and meta-analysis of related studies, which appears in the March 17, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Hatha yoga practice and fear of falling in older adults
Indiana University researchers found promising results in an exploratory study involving yoga practice by older adults who expressed a fear of falling.

Long-term effects of early Parkinson's treatments similar
A study published online today in the Archives of Neurology involving two common drugs used to treat early stage Parkinson's disease shows that, while the drugs each have advantages and disadvantages, the overall impact tends to even out over a long period of treatment.

JCI online early table of contents: March 9, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, March 9, 2009, in the JCI, including: SOX9 renders melanomas sensitive to retinoic acid and stops tumor growth; Two enzymes are crucial for ureter-bladder connection during development; The enzyme CaMKII modulates cardiac inflammation after a heart attack; Insulin resistance in liver cells reduces atherosclerosis; and others.

Peer-to-peer heart monitoring
The possibility of remote monitoring for chronically ill patients will soon become a reality.

Regular family meals result in better eating habits for adolescents
In the March/April 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota report on one of the first studies to examine the long-term benefits of regular family meals for diet quality during the transition from early to middle adolescence.

Study shows microRNA-based diagnostic identifies squamous lung cancer with 96 percent sensitivity
A new study shows for the first time that a microRNA-based diagnostic test can objectively identify squamous lung cancer with 96 percent sensitivity, according to Harvey Pass, M.D., of the NYU Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center, one of the authors of the study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Ecstasy could help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder
Ecstasy may help suffers of post-traumatic stress learn to deal with their memories more effectively by encouraging a feeling of safety, according to an article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology published today by SAGE.

Iowa State researchers developing clean, renewable energy for ethanol industry
Researchers from Iowa State University, Frontline BioEnergy and Hawkeye Energy Holdings are using a $2.37 million grant from the Iowa Power Fund to develop new burner and catalyst technologies.
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