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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | September 06, 2011


MU researchers use new video gaming technology to detect illness, prevent falls in older adults
Many older adults lose their independence as their health declines and they are compelled to move into assisted care facilities.
Most med schools offer students poor mental health coverage, imperiling students, patients
Most US medical schools offer their students poor health insurance coverage for the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders, a practice that imperils the well-being of our nation's future doctors and their patients, researchers report in JAMA.
New TB vaccine approach shows promise in mice
An experimental vaccine composed of a genetically modified bacterium closely related to the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB) has been found to protect mice against TB infection, according to a study appearing online September 4 in the journal Nature Medicine.
Time to address stimulant abuse on our campuses
Universities and colleges need to do more to protect young adults from the dangers of illicit stimulant use and to educate them about harms, argue the authors of an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Protecting adolescent girls from unwanted unprotected sex
Partner abuse leads to HIV infection, and black women are most at risk.
One drink a day may be related to good overall health in women when older
Women who drink 15 grams or less of alcohol a day (the equivalent of one drink of any alcoholic beverage) at midlife may be healthier when older than women who do not drink at all, who consume more than two drinks a day, or who consume four drinks or more at the one time.
Ohio Third Frontier awards $2.5 million for imaging research in Cleveland
The Ohio Third Frontier Commission has awarded $2.5 million in research grants to advance the Philips Healthcare Global Advanced Imaging Innovation Center, a collaboration among Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Philips Healthcare.
Neonatal and infant feeding disorders program saves infants from lifetime of feeding tubes
An innovative approach to treating neonatal feeding problems at Nationwide Children's Hospital has allowed infants who were struggling to feed orally to be discharged earlier and without feeding tubes, subsequently saving millions of annual health-care charges.
Young investigators awarded for research excellence at Australia meeting
Eight IOF Young Investigator Awards were presented by the International Osteoporosis Foundation to young researchers from Australia, China, India and Japan, in recognition of their outstanding work.
Metabolic state of brain cancer stem cells significantly different than the cancer cells they create
The metabolic state of glioma stem cells, which give rise to deadly glioblastomas, is significantly different from that of the brain cancer cells to which they give birth, a factor which helps those stem cells avoid treatment and cause recurrence later.
Innovation is step toward digital graphene transistors
Researchers are making progress in creating digital transistors using a material called graphene, potentially sidestepping an obstacle thought to dramatically limit the material's use in computers and consumer electronics.
Highlights of upcoming conference on aldosterone & the ENaC/Degenerin family of ion channels
The American Physiological Society is sponsoring the 7th International Symposium on Aldosterone and the ENaC/Degenerin Family of Ion Channels, being held Sept.
The future of drugs is all in the family
In a first-ever comprehensive study of the species origins of nature-derived drugs, it was found that drug-producing species are concentrated and clustered in a limited number of families, refuting the conventional view that as every nature species produces biologically active molecules, one can find drugs from almost any major block of species groups if one looks for them hard enough.
Poor outlook for water quality in Germany
The good chemical and ecological status of water bodies as defined by the EU Water Framework Directive is unlikely to be attained in Germany by 2015.
Mass. Eye and Ear awarded largest NIH grant in hospital's history
The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has received an $11 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the largest National Institutes of Health grant in this hospital's 187-year history, to coordinate the Harvard-wide Project on Antibiotic Resistance.
Young women with early breast cancer have similar survival with breast conservation, mastectomy
Young women with early-stage breast cancer have similar survival rates with a lumpectomy and radiation treatment, known as breast-conservation therapy, as with mastectomy, a new study conducted at the University of Maryland has found.
New drugs should be compared with existing treatments before approval, say experts
Manufacturers should have to show how their drugs compare to existing treatments before approval to help ensure that the most beneficial and safest therapies reach patients and that limited healthcare resources are invested wisely, argue experts on bmj.com today.
MIT researchers create new Urban Network Analysis toolbox
MIT researchers have created a new Urban Network Analysis (UNA) toolbox that enables urban designers and planners to describe the spatial patterns of cities using mathematical network analysis methods.
NRL robotic loader system achieves composite material testing milestone
The NRL Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory of the Center of Computational Materials Science in the Materials Science Division complete functional verification of robotic materials testing system NRL66.3.
Bird pollinated plant mixes it up when it comes to sex
New research to be published early next year in a special edition on plant mating in the Annals of Botany by De Waal, Anderson and Barrett shows that while birds are important for plant reproduction, when it comes to sex Babiana don't put all their eggs in one basket.
Fetal tissue plays pivotal role in formation of insulin-producing cells
A somewhat mysterious soft tissue found in the fetus during early development in the womb plays a pivotal role in the formation of mature beta cells the sole source of the body's insulin.
Virtual reality may help adults recover from stroke
Early results suggest that using virtual reality (VR) human-computer interfaces might help adult stroke patients regain arm function and improve their ability to perform standard tasks, when compared to patients who don't use VR.
Songs about sex - how they affect kids
Do sexualized lyrics in popular music have an impact on the sexual behavior and attitudes of adolescents?
Researchers identify new drug target that stimulates
One of the holy grails in diabetes research is to discover molecules that stimulate beta cell growth and to find drugs that target these molecules.
Nanoscale spin waves can replace microwaves
A group of scientists from the University of Gothenburg and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden, have become the first group in the world to demonstrate that theories about nanoscale spin waves agree with observations.
Interventional radiologists: Learn about peripheral arterial disease and get moving
Peripheral arterial disease is a condition affecting 12-20 percent of Americans age 65 and older that may be a signal of future heart attack and stroke.
FRAX® now available as downloadable desktop application
FRAX®, the essential internet-based fracture risk calculation tool can now be downloaded as a stand-alone version that operates on a desktop or laptop computer without internet access.
Control of fear in the brain decoded
With the help of genetic studies on mice, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry have discovered two opposing neuronal regulatory circuits for the generation and elimination of fear.
Biophysical Society names 5 2012 award recipients
The Biophysical Society is pleased to announce the recipients of five of its 2012 Society awards.
2011 Awards of World Cultural Council
The World Cultural Council will present the 2011
Anti-inflammatory drugs taken in early pregnancy more than double risk of miscarriage
The risk of miscarriage is 2.4 times greater for women who took any type and dosage of non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in early pregnancy, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Mayo Clinic study finds widespread medical resident burnout and debt
Feelings of burnout persist among internal medicine residents despite significant cutbacks in duty hours for doctors-in-training in recent years, a national study by Mayo Clinic found.
Use of bednets to prevent malaria saves African children's lives
In several sub-Saharan African countries, the rapid, widespread implementation of insecticide treated nets (often referred to as ITNs -- which can prevent malaria by protecting those sleeping under them from the bites of night-flying, malaria parasite-carrying mosquitoes) has been accompanied by significant reductions in child deaths, real life findings that reflect the results of clinical trials and support continued efforts to scale-up and maintain ITN coverage in sub-Saharan Africa.
Study finds payment for pediatric obesity services now can save money later
In an effort to guide medical providers, patients and payers in better serving obese children and enabling the best health outcomes possible, a UCLA-led work group from the FOCUS on a Fitter Future collaboration of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions reviewed existing successful programs to evaluate what works best.
Medical homes linked to better health, school performance
Undocumented children who have access to health insurance are healthier and more engaged in school than those without insurance, according to researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).
Chondroitin sulfate improves hand function, relieves morning stiffness caused by osteoarthritis
New research shows that chondroitin sulfate significantly decreased pain and improved hand function in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hand compared with those in the placebo group.
Innovative nanoparticle purification system uses magnetic fields
A team of Penn State University scientists has invented a new system that uses magnetism to purify hybrid nanoparticles.
A 'jumping gene's' preferred targets may influence genome evolution
Our genetic blueprint contains numerous entities known as transposons, which have the ability to move from place to place on the chromosomes within a cell.
Scientists make turfgrass safer for animals, deadly for insects
The right combination of compounds produced by a beneficial fungus could lead to grasses that require fewer pesticides and are safer for wildlife and grazing animals, according to Purdue University scientists.
Screening for HPV persistence and cervical cancer risk
Women over the age of thirty who test positive for HPV (Human Papillomavirus) should be re-tested two years later as part of cervical cancer screening, according to a study published online TK in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Weight-loss surgery has its complications but costs less than standard obesity treatment
The majority of people who undergo bariatric weight-loss surgery benefit from the procedure, but long-term complications and further surgery are not uncommon.
Quality problems more likely in offshore drug plants, study finds
Drugs produced in offshore manufacturing plants -- even those run by US manufacturers -- pose a greater quality risk than those prepared in the mainland United States, a new study suggests.
LA BioMed investigators help spearhead study about novel approach to acute COPD illness
Richard Casaburi, Ph.D., M.D., principal investigator at LA BioMed, is co-author of a recent study that should help improve the condition for millions of individuals who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
When it comes to speaking out, cells wait their turn
Dr. David Sprinzak of Tel Aviv University has discovered the mechanism that allows cells to switch from sender to receiver mode, inhibiting their own signals while receiving information from other cells.
USGS research frontiers on fish at the American Fisheries Society Conference
The 141st annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society will take place in Seattle from Sept.
Study finds crop performance matters when evaluating greenhouse gas emissions
A study in the Journal of Environmental Quality reports that total emissions of the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, were not significantly affected by tillage practices when expressed on an area basis.
Barretos Cancer Hospital and MD Anderson sign sister institution agreement
Today, Barretos Cancer Hospital (BCH) in Brazil joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Sister Institution network.
New LROC images offer sharper views of Apollo 12, 14, 17 sites
The Arizona State University team that oversees the imaging system on board NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has released the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 sites, more clearly showing the paths made when the astronauts explored these areas.
Violence remains in top 10 causes of death
Homicide and suicide remain in the top ten leading causes of death for people from birth to age 64.
Scripps Research scientists pinpoint shape-shifting mechanism critical to protein signaling
In a joint study, scientists from the California and Florida campuses of the Scripps Research Institute have shown that changes in a protein's structure can change its signaling function and they have pinpointed the precise regions where those changes take place.
BRCA1 gene mutation associated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy
Nearly half of breast cancer patients carrying the BRCA1 gene mutation experience a complete pathological response (pCR) - the disappearance of all evidence of disease from the breast tissue and lymph nodes -- regardless of disease stage after standard neoadjuvent chemotherapy, according to new research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Remembering the past negatively worsens health
Going back to work after the holidays is a nightmare for many.
Fatal fungal infections resist newest class of drugs
Fungi that cause severe infections in those with compromised immune systems are resisting the action of the latest group of antifungal drugs.
OHSU researchers eye newer, safer birth control method
Oregon Health & Science University researchers have uncovered a new contraceptive that is more focused, safer and, therefore, available for use among a larger population of women.
Chemotherapy can impair speech
Patients who have received high doses of chemotherapy may find it harder to express themselves verbally, according to new research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Glucose uptake relies on newly identified protein
Study led by Zhen Y. Jiang, Ph.D. at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) identifies the protein -- called CDP138 -- that helps muscle and fat cells properly insert glucose transporters in their outer membranes.
A more progressive tax system makes people happier
The way some people talk, you'd think that a flat tax system -- in which everyone pays at the same rate regardless of income -- would make citizens feel better than more progressive taxation, where wealthier people are taxed at higher rates.
Proceed with caution when setting up financial incentives for general practice doctors
There is growing use of financial incentives in many countries to reward primary care practitioners who improve the quality of their services.
Owning insecticide-treated bed nets lowers child mortality by 23 percent
Children who live in households that own at least one insecticide-treated bed net are less likely to be infected with malaria and less likely to die from the disease, according to a new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
Scientists discover switch that turns white fat brown
Scientists have discovered a biological switch that gives energy-storing white fat the characteristics of energy-burning brown fat.
Texas A&M prof says study shows that clouds don't cause climate change
Clouds only amplify climate change, says a Texas A&M University professor in a study that rebuts recent claims that clouds are actually the root cause of climate change.
Scandinavian revivals contributed to the emergence of modern society
A wave of pietist revivals swept across Sweden during the first half of the eighteenth century.
Role of alcohol intake and smoking on upper aerodigestive cancers
This paper provides an extensive analysis of the proportion of the risk of upper aero-digestive tract (UADT) cancers in the population (the population attributable risk) that may be due to alcohol consumption and/or smoking.
Many adverse drug reactions among hospital and emergency care patients are preventable
Many cases of adverse drug reactions seen in hospital and emergency care could be prevented, says the first meta-analysis of preventable adverse drug reactions in both out-patients and in-patients.
Neutrinos: Ghostly particles with unstable egos
So far it is unknown which rules neutrinos follow when they alter their identity.
Modeling disparities may help with cervical cancer prevention
Researchers reported that explicit inclusion of disparities in cost-effectiveness analysis, would allow policy makers to identify strategies that would reduce overall cancer risk, reduce disparities between racial ethnic subgroups, and be cost-effective, according to a study published online Sept.
Ultrasound improves stem cell transplants
Transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells is an effective treatment for patients with malignant blood diseases.
Misunderstanding surrounds HIV vaccine trials
Better communication is needed around HIV vaccine trials to ensure those in at-risk communities understand the process and continue to participate, according to a new University of Toronto study.
ASU and China's Sun Yat-Sen University to develop early diagnostics against colorectal cancer
Arizona State University (ASU) and China's Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) have formalized a research collaboration aimed at developing early and predictive diagnostics to improve patient outcomes for colorectal cancer.
FDA clears biomarker test for ovarian cancer
Approval last week by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clears the path for nationwide use of tools that show the greatest specificity in estimating the risk of ovarian cancer in women with a pelvic mass.
New material shows promise for trapping pollutants
Water softening techniques are very effective for removing minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which occur as positively-charged ions in
In more socially engaging environment, white fat turns to brown
When mice are given a more engaging place to live with greater opportunities for social stimulation, some of their energy-storing white fat is transformed to energy-burning brown fat.
Recycling fat might help worms live longer
In a study appearing September 8 in Current Biology, a team led by Malene Hansen, Ph.D. at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found that two cellular processes -- lipid metabolism and autophagy -- work together to influence lifespan in C. elegans worms.
Children who have their adenoids out do not get fewer upper respiratory infections
Children who have their adenoids surgically removed do not get fewer upper respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis and colds, finds research published on bmj.com today.
Microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste
Researchers at Michigan State University have unraveled the mystery of how microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste and other toxic metals.
Is the EU looking to save €100 billion a year? Take action on lung diseases!
Respiratory diseases are one of the leading causes of death and suffering in the EU.
UN summit on non-communicable diseases should learn from global AIDS response
As the world prepares to develop a global strategy to tackle some of the biggest current threats to human health, there is a lot to be learned from past successes and mistakes of the global response to HIV/AIDS.
Mother's postpartum oxycodone use: No safer for breastfed infants than codeine
The death of an infant exposed to codeine through breast milk has many health care providers questioning the safety of the drug when used by breastfeeding mothers.
Lifetime 'dose' of excess weight linked to risk of diabetes, according to U-M study
A new study shows the amount of extra weight carried by teens and young adults and how long they carry the extra weight impacts their risk for diabetes later in life.
Integrated health care delivery system and electronic health records support medication adherence
People who receive medical care in an integrated health care system with electronic health records linked to its own pharmacy more often collect their new prescriptions for diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure medications than do people who receive care in a non-integrated system, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Top scientists head for Australia to talk SKA
Top astronomers and engineers from nine countries will meet in Perth, Australia this week to plan for pre-construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) at The Path to SKA-low workshop.
Financial consequences of illness devastating and understudied
Despite the potentially devastating financial consequences of illness, most health systems fail to offer adequate financial protection to citizens but should.
Developing technologies to improve the treatment of craniosynostosis in children
Researchers in the Atlanta-based Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation are developing technologies to better monitor and treat children with craniosynostosis, a condition that causes the bone plates in the skull to fuse too soon.
Major advance in sleeping sickness drug made by Glasgow scientists
A new study published in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on September 6th presents a key advance in developing a safer cure for sleeping sickness.
Circadian clocks in a blind fish
Do animals that have evolved underground, completely isolated from the day-night cycle, still
CCNY's solar roof pod showcases innovative technology
A unique structure in the urban landscape has arisen on a plaza of The City College of New York campus.
Simulation an effective way to train health-care professionals
An analysis led by Mayo Clinic researchers found that simulation-based training is an effective way to teach physicians, nurses, dentists, emergency medical technicians and other health professionals.
Malaria prevention strategies could substantially cut killer bacterial infections, study suggests
Interventions targeting malaria, such as insecticide-treated bed nets, antimalarial drugs and mosquito control, could substantially reduce cases of bacteraemia, which kill hundreds of thousands of children each year in Africa and worldwide.
Penn researchers awarded $3.2 million to continue musculoskeletal disorders center
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have been awarded another five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue the programs of the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders.
'Culturomics 2.0' forecasts human behavior by supercomputing global news
A paper published yesterday in the peer-reviewed journal First Monday combines advanced supercomputing with a quarter-century of worldwide news to forecast and visualize human behavior, from civil unrest to the movement of individuals.
Pain relief can now be based on solid evidence
A Cochrane Review of data relating to about 45,000 patients involved in approximately 350 individual studies has provided an evaluation of the effect you can expect to get if you take commonly used painkillers at specific doses.
UC Davis neurosurgeons use adult stem cells to grow neck vertebrae
Neurosurgery researchers at UC Davis Health System have used a new, leading-edge stem cell therapy to promote the growth of bone tissue following the removal of cervical discs -- the cushions between the bones in the neck -- to relieve chronic, debilitating pain.
Big steps forward in human functional brain imaging, but collaborations key to patient benefit
Twenty years after the publication of the first human study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) - a technique to measure activity in the brain through the flow of blood - the Wellcome Trust has published a report providing reflections on the field of human functional brain imaging.
Volunteering to help others could lead to better health
People who volunteer may live longer than those who don't, as long as their reasons for volunteering are to help others rather than themselves, suggests new research published by the American Psychological Association.
New cellular surprise may help scientists better understand human mitochondrial diseases
A surprising new discovery by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of California, Davis regarding the division of tiny
Gastric bypass reduces blood pressure
The kidneys play an important role in the regulation of blood pressure by adjusting the production of urine after eating or drinking.
Prenatal exposure to phthalates linked to decreased mental and motor development
A new study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health heightens concerns over the potential health effects on children of a group of ubiquitous chemicals known as phthalates, a class of chemicals that are known to disrupt the endocrine system, and are widely used in consumer products.
In next-gen DNA sequence, new answers to a rare and devastating disease
In Leigh syndrome, infants are born apparently healthy only to develop movement and breathing disorders that worsen over time, often leading to death by the age of 3.
Digital cameras open new view of America's West
A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aerial photography survey of 38,000 wildfire-burned acres in Idaho provided what is believed to be the first evidence that the invasive leafy spurge weed is displacing seedlings of native mountain big sagebrush.
Cheap drugs could save thousands of lives -- in Sweden alone
A major new international study involving researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital has revealed that aspirin, statins, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors are prescribed far too infrequently.
Study: No link betweem menopause and increased risk of fatal heart
Contradicting the long-held medical belief that the risk of cardiovascular death for women spikes sharply after menopause, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests instead that heart disease mortality rates in women progress at a constant rate as they age.
Peer pressure? It's hardwired into our brains
A new USC study explains why people take stupid chances when all of their friends are watching that they would never take by themselves.
Looking for the roots of racial bias in delivery of health care
New Johns Hopkins research shows that medical students -- just like the general American population -- may have unconscious if not overt preferences for white people, but this innate bias does not appear to translate into different or lesser health care of other races.
Danforth Center Collaborative Research Program receives funding to improve crop yield in Africa
The additional funding came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Monsanto Fund and the Howard Buffett Foundation.
Achoo! Cost of colds in school, homes, workplace in Canada is enormous says new study
School's in and so are colds. Canadian researchers conclude, in the first study of its kind in Canada, the cost of colds in school, homes and the workplace is enormous and more preventative measures would significantly cut costs.
NASA spacecraft images offer sharper views of Apollo landing sites
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites.
For safer food imports, Teach foreign lab workers US requirements
Amid ongoing concerns about Salmonella and other food-borne illnesses, a new facility will take a unique approach to safer imports bound for the United States: Give foreign technicians testing those foods intensive, hands-on lab training in US government methods, standards and technology.
New York Academy of Sciences and GMEC host forum on value of animal models in drug discovery
On Sept. 15-16, 2011, The New York Academy of Sciences and the Global Medical Excellence Cluster (GMEC), in collaboration with Imperial College London and King's College London, will host a two-day scientific conference,
UCLA study shows loss of key estrogen regulator may lead to metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis
UCLA researchers demonstrated that loss of a key protein that regulates estrogen and immune activity in the body could lead to aspects of metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions that can cause Type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and cancer.
Rice breakthrough could double wireless capacity with no new towers
Rice University engineering researchers have made a breakthrough that could allow wireless phone companies to double throughput on their networks without adding a single cell tower.
Stevens researchers pioneer novel technique to make plasmonic nanogap arrays
Dr. Stefan Strauf, et al. published a paper on leveraging holographic lithography for fabricating nanogap arrays with features 70 times smaller than the wavelengths of the blue laser light used to create the nanostructures.
99-cent pricing may not be worth the penny, says Rutgers-Camden researcher
Just-below pricing, or 99-cent endings, is a common marketing tool used to attract customers looking to get bang for their buck.
LGBT health issues not being taught at medical schools, Stanford study finds
The average medical student spends just five hours in medical school learning about the health-care needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, despite evidence that these patients often face a unique set of health risks, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine that will be published Sept.
NASA satellites 'eyes' changes in Hurricane Katia
Major Hurricane Katia continues to approach the US East coast and stir up rough surf.
Micronutrient powders reduce anemia and iron deficiency in infants in low-income countries
Adding a powder that contains several vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc and vitamin A, to the semi-solid foods taken by infants and children between six months and two years of age, can reduce their risk of anemia and iron deficiency.
Recent trends show recession's effect on US advanced technology exports
US exports of advanced technology products (ATP) fared better than other non-advanced technology exports during the recent US recession, says a new report from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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