Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 21, 2012
Special interest groups have become powerful public advocate
Many special interest groups aren't so specialized at all, but have become powerful advocates in advancing public interests and ideas, a Michigan State University political scientist argues in a new book.

Listen to neurons in your own backyard with the SpikerBox
Amateurs have a new tool for conducting simple neuroscience experiments in their own garage: the SpikerBox.

Composite PVC materials with enhanced thermal stability on the basis of nanofillings
Researchers at the Public University of Navarre are working on a project to design and manufacture composite PVC materials based on nanofillings and intended for multi-sectoral applications.

Mice infected with Toxoplasma gondii parasite show Alzheimer's improvements
The parasite Toxoplasma gondii has some favorable effects on the pathogenesis and progression of a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Marshall University study may lead to new treatments for prostate cancer
A recent study at Marshall University focusing on the effects of cadmium may eventually help scientists develop new treatments for prostate cancer.

New discoveries about brain-hand connection sought to improve therapies, treatments, prosthetics
A National Science Foundation grant will support researchers at Arizona State University and Columbia University in further studies of the sensory and cognitive connections between the hands and the brain.

As industry funding for medical education fades, new opportunities for improvements arise
Public scrutiny and the threat of government regulation are leading to a decline in industry-sponsored funding of accredited continuing medical education (CME) for physicians, and this decline represents an opportunity to make CME more relevant, cost-effective and less open to bias, wrote a group of physicians from the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Military analytics expert says billions in supply chain efficiency reduce Pentagon cuts
The Defense Department, faced with cuts of what Secretary Leon Panetta said could be $487 billion over the next ten years, can find tens of billions of dollars in cost reductions by better aligning the Pentagon supply chain rather than imposing precipitous reductions to the uniformed forces, according to a former Army colonel who is speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the premier organization for advanced analytics professionals.

Mercury's surprising core and landscape curiosities
Scientists have found that Mercury's core, already suspected to occupy a greater fraction of the planet's interior than do the cores of Earth, Venus, or Mars, is even larger than anticipated.

How the alphabet of data processing is growing: Research team generates flying 'qubits'
The alphabet of data processing could include more elements than the

Why spring is blooming marvelous (and climate change makes it earlier)
With buds bursting early, only for a mild winter to turn Arctic and wipe them out, we are witnessing how warm weather can trigger flowering, even out of season, and how important it is for plants to blossom at the right time of year.

UF researchers look for ways to make an emerging technology safe for environment
The percentage of electronic waste occupying our landfills has grown at an alarming rate over the last decade, giving rise to concerns about the toxicity of components used in consumer electronics.

Dense breasts can nearly double the risk of breast cancer recurrence
Women aged 50 and over with breasts that have a high percentage of dense tissue are at greater risk of their breast cancer recurring, according to researchers from Sweden.

Challenges in salivary diagnostics
On March 22, during the 41st Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research, a symposium titled

NIST findings awaken age-old anesthesia question
Why does inhaling anesthetics cause unconsciousness? New insights into this century-and-a-half-old question may spring from new NIST research.

A structured, independent exercise regimen can reduce the need for therapy
The treatment of meniscus tears in injured workers is associated with less favorable outcomes and higher utilization of clinical services.

AMP applauds Supreme Court ruling: Sees win for patients and personalized medicine
The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) applauds the US Supreme Court's ruling today in the case of Mayo Collaborative Services vs.

AADR awards the 2012 Jack Hein Public Service Award to Isabel Garcia
The American Association for Dental Research has announced Isabel Garcia, deputy director, National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, as the recipient of the 2012 AADR Jack Hein Public Service Award.

Hospitalization associated with increased cognitive decline in older adults
A new study published in the March 21 issue of Neurology suggests that older adults who are hospitalized may have an increased risk of subsequent cognitive decline.

Stanford imaging study reveals differences in brain function for children with math anxiety
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown for the first time how brain function differs in people who have math anxiety from those who don't.

Computer model of spread of dementia can predict future disease patterns years before they occur
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed a computer program that has tracked the manner in which different forms of dementia spread within a human brain.

Brains of frequent dance spectators exhibit motor mirroring while watching familiar dance
Experienced ballet spectators with no physical expertise in ballet showed enhanced muscle-specific motor responses when watching live ballet, according to a March 21 report in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Building the oral health care workforce: Multipronged research on dental therapy
On March 22, during the 41st AADR Annual Meeting & Exhibition, a symposium titled

Scientists use rare mineral to correlate past climate events in Europe, Antarctica
Are climate changes in one part of the world felt half a world away?

Low socioeconomic status means worse health -- but not for everyone
Poverty is bad for your health. Poor people are much more likely to have heart disease, stroke, and cancer than wealthy people, and have a lower life expectancy, too.

Study shines light on brain mechanism that controls reward enjoyment
UNC researchers manipulate brain wiring to identify the inner workings of reward enjoyment.

A new take on the games people play in their relationships
Human nature has deep evolutionary roots and is manifested in relationships with family members, friends, romantic and business partners, competitors, and strangers more than in any other aspects of behavior or intellectual activity, contends a University of Chicago behavioral biologist.

Study: Low bone density medications may have protective effect on endometrial cancer
Medications like Fosamax may protect some women from the most common type of uterine cancer, according to a study at Henry Ford Hospital.

BUSM study demonstrates tomosynthesis effective in diagnosing knee osteoarthritis
A recent study done by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) shows that tomosynthesis may be more beneficial in diagnosing knee osteoarthritis than X-ray imaging.

Team finds atomic structure of molecule that binds to opioids in the brain
Scientists have for the first time determined the three-dimensional atomic structure of a human opioid receptor, a molecule on the surface of brain cells that binds to opioids and is centrally involved in pleasure, pain, addiction, depression, psychosis, and related conditions.

Brandeis scientists win prestigious prize for circadian rhythms research
Two distinguished Brandeis researchers, whose long-standing collaboration led to pioneering discoveries about the workings of the biological clock and its role in circadian rhythms, today were awarded the prestigious Canada Gairdner Award, that nation's foremost international scientific honor.

Breast cancer screening and better treatment both help to save significant numbers of lives
A Dutch study of the effectiveness of breast cancer screening shows that, even with improved treatments for the disease, population-based mammography programs still save a significant number of lives.

New models predict patterns of brain damage in dementia
Two breakthrough studies may explain why we see distinct patterns of brain damage associated with dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease, and could be useful for predicting future cognitive decline in patients.

'Nanoslinky': A novel nanofluidic technology for DNA manipulation and measurement
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed their own version of this classic Slinky

Will you have a heart attack? New test can possibly predict
New findings from a landmark research study led by Scripps Translational Science Institute -- a collaborative program between Scripps Health and the Scripps Research Institute -- shows a promising new blood test may be useful in helping doctors predict who is at risk for an imminent heart attack.

People without a sense of smell have enhanced social insecurity
People born without a sense of smell experience higher social insecurity and increased risk for depression.

Stress management for breast cancer patients may affect disease course
A team of researchers led by Michael H. Antoni, director of the Center for Psycho-Oncology Research at the University of Miami has shown that a stress management program tailored to women with breast cancer can alter tumor-promoting processes at the molecular level.

Genetic mutation found in familial chronic diarrhea syndrome
When the intestines are not able to properly process our diet, a variety of disorders can develop, with chronic diarrhea as a common symptom.

Rewarding educational research: the scholarship of teaching and learning
During the 41st AADR Annual Meeting & Exhibition a symposium titled

Chemical pollution in Europe's seas: The monitoring must catch up with the science
According to a recent poll of more than 10,000 citizens from 10 European countries, pollution is the primary concern of the public at large among all issues that threaten the marine environment.

Structure of 'Salvia' receptor solved
A research team has determined the structure of the kappa-opioid receptor -- site of action of the widely abused hallucinogen Salvia divinorum -- solving longstanding scientific mysteries and offering new insights for treating drug addiction, chronic pain and depression.

Dance like a neutrino: Quantum scheme to simulate neutrino oscillations
The behavior of some of the most elusive particles in the known universe can be simulated using three atoms in a lab say researchers at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore.

Memory problems may increase after being hospitalized
A new study suggests that older people may have an increased risk of problems with memory and thinking abilities after being in the hospital, according to research published in the March 21, 2012, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Parents of children with cancer distrust and fear online sources of health information, study shows
Parents and adult caregivers of pediatric cancer patients prefer personal consultations with trusted health care providers over online sources for information about their child's illness, according to a University at Buffalo research study.

Discovery offers insight into treating viral stomach flu
While researchers say that vaccines for intestinal infections are among the most difficult to develop, a recent discovery may provide the critical information needed for success.

2012 AADR Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Student Fellowship awarded to Collymore
The American Association for Dental Research has announced Page Linae Collymore as the recipient of the 2012 AADR Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Student Fellowship.

Autism risk gene linked to differences in brain structure
Healthy individuals who carry a gene variation linked to an increased risk of autism have structural differences in their brains that may help explain how the gene affects brain function and increases vulnerability for autism.

René Rizzoli wins prestigious Pierre Delmas Prize: An ESCEO-IOF-Servier Achievement Award
Today, in Bordeaux, France, the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis and the International Osteoporosis Foundation, with the support of Servier, presented the Pierre Delmas Prize: An ESCEO-IOF-Servier Achievement Award to professor Rene Rizzoli.

Noted history of medicine professor to speak at University of Houston
The University of Houston has invited a noted professor in the history of medicine, Alexandra Stern, to give the John P.

Most sinus infections don't require antibiotics
The vast majority of sinus infections are caused by viruses and should not be treated with antibiotics, suggest new guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

Alzheimer's disease spreads through linked nerve cells, brain imaging studies suggest
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia may spread within nerve networks in the brain by moving directly between connected neurons, instead of in other ways proposed by scientists, such as by propagating in all directions, according to researchers who report the finding in the March 22 edition of the journal Neuron.

Brain's involvement in processing depends on language's graphic symbols
Readers whose mother tongue is Arabic have more challenges reading in Arabic than native Hebrew or English speakers have reading their native languages, because the two halves of the brain divide the labor differently when the brain processes Arabic than when it processes Hebrew or English.

Data from MESSENGER spacecraft reveals new insights on planet Mercury
Thanks to the MESSENGER spacecraft, and a mission that took more than 10 years to complete, scientists now have a good picture of the solar system's innermost planet.

Experts identify inhibitor causing male pattern baldness and target for hair-loss treatments
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified an abnormal amount a protein called Prostaglandin D2 in the bald scalp of men with male pattern baldness, a discovery that may lead directly to new treatments for the most common cause of hair loss in men.

Cancer cells in blood predict chances of survival and can help target breast cancer treatment
German doctors have found that breast cancer patients with at least five circulating tumor cells in their blood detected straight after surgery have a four-fold increase in the risk of recurrence and a three-fold increase in the risk of death.

TMJ: Stem cell biology and engineering toward clinical translation
On March 23, during the 41st Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research, held in conjunction with the 36th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, a symposium titled

U of I study: Distiller's grain safe for pigs, even with sulfur content
University of Illinois research reports that swine producers can feed distiller's dried grain with solubles to their pigs without concern for sulfur content.

University of Calgary assumes key role in International SKA Project
Russ Taylor of the University of Calgary has been appointed to represent Canada on the international SKA Board, which is the decision-making body for the project.

MRI screening for women with a family history of breast cancer but no genetic predisposition
Adding magnetic resonance imaging to standard breast cancer screening approaches may be cost effective for a group of women who may not have inherited the breast cancer susceptibility genes, but who have a familial risk of developing the disease.

Energy requirements make Antarctic fur seal pups vulnerable to climate change
A study published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology found that changing weather conditions can impact the metabolic rates of fur seal pups.

15 percent of American physician workforce trained in lower income countries
Fifteen percent of the American active physician workforce was trained in lower income countries.

Key to immune system disease could lie inside the cheek
Cardiff University scientists have produced powerful new cells which can suppress the body's immune system.

Brian Greenwood wins Gairdner Award
Professor Sir Brian Greenwood has dedicated his career to saving children's lives by tackling diseases which are dictated by the weather.

BHR Pharma's SyNAPSe trial reaches important enrollment milestone on Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Day
As communities in the United States gather in support of Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Day, BHR Pharma, LLC's SyNAPSe clinical trial reaches an important enrollment milestone.

Study into safety of common over-the-counter drugs reaches milestone
An international study into the safety of some of the most widely used medicines has reached a significant milestone by recruiting its 6,000th patient.

Berkeley Lab study shows far higher potential for wind energy in India than previously estimated
A new assessment of wind energy in India by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that the potential for on-shore wind energy deployment is far higher than the official estimates -- about 20 times and up to 30 times greater than the current government estimate of 102 gigawatts.

Seeing movement: Why the world in our head stays still when we move our eyes
Scientists from Tuebingen discovered new functions of brain regions that are responsible for seeing movement.

Have I got cancer or haven't I? Medical staff confuse women with ductal carcinoma in situ
Women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ need clear communication and tailored support to enable them to understand this complex breast condition, which has divided the medical profession when it comes to its perception and prognosis.

Bronchoscopy can guide effective treatment for refractory asthma
Using a bronchoscope to visually examine the airways and collect fluid and tissue can help guide effective therapy for difficult-to-treat asthma patients, according to researchers at National Jewish Health.

Study: Stress-induced cortisol facilitates threat-related decision making among police officers
This study examines how increases in cortisol, brought on by an acute social stressor, can influence threat-related decision making.

VISTA stares deep into the cosmos
ESO's VISTA telescope has created the widest deep view of the sky ever made using infrared light.

Cleveland Clinic researchers discover insight into pregnancy-induced hypertension
Researchers have identified an enzyme linked to pregnancy-induced hypertension -- also known as preeclampsia -- a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and swelling due to fluid retention.

Thromboembolic events are uncommon following ankle fracture surgery
Thromboembolic events -- such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots developing in the extremities; or pulmonary embolism (PE), a complication that causes a blood clot to move to the lungs.

Effectiveness of bilingual education being studied
The grant will support Rojas' research into bilingual language growth in structured English immersion and transitional bilingual education programs.

The ranchland near Pincher Creek, Alberta, is a hot zone for grizzly bear encounters
The ranchland near the southwestern Alberta town of Pincher Creek is a hot zone for grizzly bear encounters according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta.

Everything you always wanted to know about exploring Earth with seismology
A new addition to the Geological Society of America's Memoir series, this comprehensive volume presents the worldwide history (1850 to 2005) of seismological studies of Earth's crust.

AADR presents honorary membership to Richard H. Carmona
The American Association for Dental Research is announcing the 2012 recipient of honorary membership at the 41st AADR Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Tampa, Fla., on March 21, 2012.

BUSM, BUSPH researchers validate new drug use consequences test for primary care
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health have conducted a study on a modified version of the Short Inventory of Problems to help promote early intervention and treatment for patients with drug use in primary care.

Middle school teacher support lowers risk for early alcohol use
Anxiety, depression, stress and social support can predict early alcohol and illicit drug use in youth, according to a study from Carolyn McCarty, Ph.D, of Seattle Children's Research Institute, and researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle University.

Nemours researchers uncover new evidence of cancer-causing agent present in gaseous phase of cigarette smoke
A team led by scientists from Nemours and UCLA has shown that a key protein involved in cell function and regulation is stopped by a substance present in cigarette smoke.

20-year results from breast cancer screening program show a significant drop in deaths, limited harm and reasonable costs
Results from the Dutch national breast cancer screening program, one of longest-running national screening programs in the world, have shown that it has contributed to a drop in deaths from the disease, that any harm caused by the screening, such as false positives and over-diagnosis, has been limited, and that the costs have been reasonable.

New technique lets scientists peer within nanoparticles, see atomic structure in 3-D
UCLA researchers are now able to peer deep within material science's tiniest structures to create three-dimensional images of individual atoms and their positions.

Paul G. Allen commits $300 million to expand the Allen Institute for Brain Science
The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced today that, given its achievements to date, Paul G.

Society of Interventional Radiology hosts 37th Annual Scientific Meeting
The Society of Interventional Radiology will feature minimally invasive scientific advances and new discoveries that may change the way diseases are treated at its 37th Annual Scientific Meeting March 24-29 at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

What makes a successful pregnancy?
Fertility problems, recurrent miscarriages, and pregnancy complications can occur when maternal immunological tolerance of the fetus is impaired.

Monarch butterflies down again this year as decline continues, says Texas A&M expert
Unlike their colorful wings, the future of Monarch butterflies may not be too bright and their numbers are expected to be alarmingly down again this year, says a Texas A&M University researcher.

Holding a gun makes you think others are too, new research shows
Wielding a gun increases a person's bias to see guns in the hands of others, new research from the University of Notre Dame shows.

Claus Christiansen awarded the Herbert A. Fleisch ESCEO-IOF medal
The 2nd Herbert A. Fleisch ESCEO-IOF Medal was awarded today to eminent Danish researcher Dr.

Research identifies the beginnings of COPD
The third most deadly disease in the US, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), appears to be partly driven by the action of immune cells circulating in the blood entering into the tissues of the lungs.

FASEB releases new NIH state factsheets
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has released a new series of factsheets describing the importance of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to each state.

AADR awards the 2012 AADR William B. Clark Fellowship to Leena Palomo
The American Association for Dental Research has announced Leena Palomo as the recipient of the 2012 AADR William B.

Paramedics can play a key role in speedy care for heart attack patients
Health care experts understand the importance of

Baboons, infants show similar gesturing behavior, suggesting shared communication systems
Both human infants and baboons have a stronger preference for using their right hand to gesture than for a simple grasping task.

Keeping track to selenium metabolism
Spanish and Danish researchers have developed a method for the in vivo study of the unknown metabolism of selenium, an essential element for living beings.

ADR awards 2012 Neal W. Chilton Fellowship in Clinical Research to Bing-Yan Wang
The American Association for Dental Research has announced Bing-Yan Wang, as the 2012 AADR Neal W.

To promote lasting impact, cancer drugs should force dying cells to alert immune response
A new finding in basic science should trigger a

Economists demonstrate 1 size does not fit all for microfinance programs
Large-scale microfinance programs are widely used as a tool to fight poverty in developing countries, but a recent study from the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty suggests that they can have varying results for participants and may be the most cost-effective use of funds only in limited situations.

Quantum plasmons demonstrated in atomic-scale nanoparticles
Addressing a half-century-old question, engineers at Stanford have conclusively determined how collective electron oscillations, called plasmons, behave in individual metal particles as small as just a few nanometers in diameter.

US scientist helps lead international study of ocean value
Professor Robert Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is a co-editor of

Sexual offenses between inmates occur less often in states that allow conjugal visitation
Could widespread conjugal visitation reduce sexual offending in prisons? It's a possibility, according to Stewart D'Alessio and his team from Florida International University in the US.

Diet may be affecting rhino reproduction
Southern white rhinoceros populations, once thriving in zoos, have been showing severely reduced reproductivity among the captive-born population.

Specialization for underwater hearing by the tympanic middle ear of the turtle
A group of biologists from Denmark and the US led by Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, University of Southern Denmark, and Catherine Carr, University of Maryland, have shown that the turtle ear is specialized for underwater hearing.

AADR renames award to honor its first recipient
The American Association for Dental Research has announced Bjorn Steffensen as the recipient of the newly renamed Irwin D.

Francoise's research adds up to math prize
A University of Manchester academic has won one of the oldest math awards.

Sharp rise in cases of new strain of whooping cough
Australia's prolonged whooping cough epidemic has entered a disturbing new phase, with a study showing a new strain or genotype may be responsible for the sharp rise in the number of cases.

New study shows vast geographic variation in hip fracture risk
An extensive study of country-specific risk of hip fracture and 10-year probability of a major fragility fracture has revealed a remarkably large geographic variation in fracture risk.

Nanopower: Avoiding electrolyte failure in nanoscale lithum batteries
It turns out you can be too thin -- especially if you're a nanoscale battery.

Salk scientists open new window into how cancers override cellular growth controls
Rapidly dividing cancer cells are skilled at patching up damage that would stop normal cells in their tracks, including wear and tear of telomeres, the protective caps at the end of each chromosome.

Geosphere's dynamic platform displays the latest 3-D modeling, LiDAR imaging, and more
Highlights include new entries to the special issues

Decisions are taken more democratically with a higher percentage of women in management positions
In workplaces with a high percentage of women in a management position more individualized employee feedback is carried out, more democratic decisions are adopted and more interpersonal channels of communications are established, according to a study by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Scientists discover new method of proton transfer
Researchers have demonstrated that protons are not obligated to travel along hydrogen bonds, as previously believed.

Canada Gairdner Wightman Award honors U of S professor emeritus and former VIDO director
University of Saskatchewan professor emeritus Lorne Babiuk has been awarded the prestigious Canada Gairdner Wightman Award in recognition of his accomplishments over three decades that include leading the U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization to become a world center for vaccine research, training and development.

Antidepressant use during pregnancy and high blood pressure
Use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants during pregnancy appears to be linked with increased risk of pregnancy induced high blood pressure (hypertension), but a causal link has not been established.

Ronald Dubner named 2012 AADR Distinguished Scientist
The American Association for Dental Research has announced that Ronald Dubner, University of Maryland, Baltimore, is the recipient of the 2012 AADR Distinguished Scientist Award.

Europe's largest bone congress opens in Bordeaux, France
An international audience of more than 4,000 health professionals and researchers from around the world will meet today for the opening of the European Congress on Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis in Bordeaux, France.

Puzzling over links between monkey research and human health
Studies in monkeys are unlikely to provide reliable evidence for links between social status and heart disease in humans, according to the first ever systematic review of the relevant research.

Study on swirls to optimize contacts between fluids
Physicists who have studied the mixing between two incompatible fluids have found that it is possible to control the undercurrents of one circulating fluid to optimize its exposure to the other.

Bioethicists contribute to consensus opinion on the responsibility of biobanks
Bioethicists at Johns Hopkins University are among experts calling for biobanks to shoulder the responsibility for reporting incidental findings of serious health conditions to research patients.

'Obscurins' in breast tissue may help physicians predict and detect breast cancer
A new discovery published in the FASEB Journal may help physicians assess breast cancer risk as well as diagnose the disease.

Stanford researchers discover drug target for stimulating recovery from stroke
Investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that removing a matched set of molecules that typically help to regulate the brain's capacity for forming and eliminating connections between nerve cells could substantially aid recovery from stroke even days after the event.

USDA Forest Service and NASA release Web-based forest disturbance monitoring tool
The USDA Forest Service's Eastern Forest and Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Centers and NASA Stennis Space Center's Applied Science & Technology Project Office recently unveiled a product that helps natural resource managers rapidly detect, identify, and respond to unexpected changes in the nation's forests by using web-based tools.

Drosophila meeting poster award recipients announced
The Genetics Society of America and the Drosophila community announce the nine award recipients for their poster presentations at the 53rd Annual Drosophila Research Conference held March 7-11, 2011 in Chicago, IL.
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