Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 12, 2014
Jawed vertebrates get a face
This week in the leading journal Nature, a team of French and Swedish researchers present new fossil evidence for the origin of one of the most important and emotionally significant parts of our anatomy: the face.

2013 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize
Lewis M. Branscomb, a prominent American physicist, policy advisor and research manager, has been chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to receive the 2013 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize.

Consumer Behavior and Food Science Innovations for Optimal Nutrition
Speakers from FreshDirect, FDA, USDA, and food companies will discuss the elements of food, the physiological and psychological influences of food intake, societal factors that influence nutrition, and the role of technology in consumer behavior.

GVSU researchers draw link between zebra mussels, risk of algae blooms
Researchers at Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute are learning more about the impact invasive zebra mussels and native aquatic insect larvae have on the risk of algae blooms in two West Michigan lakes.

New NIST method evaluates response to oxidation in live cells
NIST researchers have developed a new method for accurately measuring a key process governing a wide variety of cellular functions that may become the basis for a ,health checkup, for living cells.

Dartmouth study shows US Southwest irrigation system facing decline after 4 centuries
Communal irrigation systems known as acequias that have sustained farming villages in the arid southwestern United States for centuries are struggling because of dwindling snowmelt runoff and social and economic factors that favor modernism over tradition, a Dartmouth College study finds.

AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement goes to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has honored Mary Helen Immordino-Yang with the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science for her

Ancient reptile birth preserved in fossil
Ichthyosaur fossil may show the earliest live birth from an ancient Mesozoic marine reptile.

Jaw dropping: scientists reveal how vertebrates came to have a face
Scientists present new fossil evidence for the origin of one of the most important and emotionally significant parts of our anatomy: the face.

NIF experiments show initial gain in fusion fuel
Ignition - the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel - has long been considered the

Brain process takes paper shape
A paper-based device that mimics the electrochemical signalling in the human brain has been created by a group of researchers from China.

No such thing as porn 'addiction,' researchers say
Journalists and psychologists are quick to describe someone as being a porn

Stirring-up atomtronics in a quantum circuit
Atomtronics is an emerging technology whereby physicists use ensembles of atoms to build analogs to electronic circuit elements.

Genetic find might lead to cattle that are more resistant to TB
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute have identified genetic traits in cattle that might allow farmers to breed livestock with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis.

Science awards best paper of the year to Albert Einstein College of Medicine
A study led by Albert Einstein College of Medicine researcher Dr.

New target for psoriasis treatment discovered
Researchers at King's College London have identified a new gene (PIM1), which could be an effective target for innovative treatments and therapies for the human autoimmune disease, psoriasis.

Cocaine may increase stroke risk within 24 hours of use
Cocaine greatly increases ischemic stroke risk in young adults within 24 hours of use.

Happy couples can get a big resolution to a big fight -- mean talk aside
Being critical, angry and defensive isn't always a bad thing for couples having a big disagreement -- provided they are in a satisfying relationship.

AAAS Annual Meeting features symposium on Golden Goose Award
The Golden Goose Award will be the subject of a symposium on Saturday, Feb.

OU professor recognized by AAAS for pioneering efforts to advance ecological forecasting
A University of Oklahoma professor has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to the field of global change ecology, particularly for pioneering development and application of data assimilation for ecological forecasting.

Prostate cancer advance could improve treatment options
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have made an important advance in understanding genetic changes associated with terminal prostate cancer.

Waste from age-old paper industry becomes new source of solid fuel
In today's search for renewable energy sources, researchers are turning to the hi-tech, from solar and hydrogen fuel cells, and the very low-tech.

Novel compound keeps Parkinson's symptoms at bay in mice
Scientists report that they have developed a novel compound that appears to protect mice against developing movement problems associated with Parkinson's disease (PD).

Hollywood failing to keep up with rapidly increasing diversity, UCLA study warns
At the most influential levels of the entertainment industry, minorities and women are represented at between one half and one twelfth the rate that would be expected given their proportion in the general population, according to a new study done at UCLA's Ralph J.

Second NASA grant will fund UT Arlington study of space weather effects
UT Arlington physicist Yue Deng was awarded $534,000 from NASA to study how space weather events such as solar flares drive vertical winds to affect electrodynamics in the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Filling me softly
Surgical implants are widely used in modern medicine but their effectiveness is often compromised by how our bodies react to them.

2013 AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award goes to Andrew Tsin of the University of Texas at San Antonio
Andrew Tsin has been awarded the 2013 Lifetime Mentor Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his efforts in

Prenatal vitamin A deficiency tied to postnatal asthma
Researchers have found the first direct evidence of a link between prenatal vitamin A deficiency and postnatal airway hyperresponsiveness, a hallmark of asthma.

Two strategies for accurate dart throwing
Timing of dart release or hand position may improve dart throwing accuracy.

Clever NIST/JPL technology decodes more information from single photons
It's not quite Star Trek communications. Yet. But long-distance communications in space may be easier now that researchers at NIST and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have designed a clever detector array that can extract more information than usual from single particles of light.

A new species of Oak hidden away in the greenery of Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary
Scientists describe a new species of Stone Oak uncovered amidst the astonishing biodiversity of the Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand.

Researchers create first global map of Ganymede
Using images from NASA's Voyager Mission (1979) and the orbital Galileo Mission (1995), researchers have created the first global geological map of Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede.

AAAS expands the Science family of journals with the launch of Science Advances
The nonprofit American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), publisher of the Science family of journals, plans an expansion of its scientific communication efforts with the launch of a new title, Science Advances, as an extended forum for high-quality, peer-reviewed research.

Mindfulness meditation may improve decision making
New findings suggest that mindfulness meditation, which cultivates awareness of the present moment and clears the mind of other thoughts, may help people make smarter choices.

€85 million for new way to carry out antibiotic drug discovery
JIC scientists will test the potency new compounds from other partners such as GSK.

Safer and more sustainable materials for manufacturing
Manufacturing industries rely on a supply of raw materials; increasingly these are rare, expensive, difficult to source, and subject to regulation.

New research uncovers debilitating effects of disease on toy dog breeds
A new study from the University of Surrey, published today in the journal PLOS One, has identified the specific effect Chiari malformation has on the shape of a dog's skull and brain.

Common infections linked to stroke in children; vaccines may reduce risk
Common infections are associated with a significantly greater risk of stroke in children.

Doctors are missing chance to diagnose COPD in up to 85 percent of cases, study finds
A retrospective, 20-year study led by researchers at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry shows that in up to 85 percent of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease the underlying disease was being overlooked.

Many stroke patients on 'clot-busting' tPA may not need long stays in the ICU
A Johns Hopkins study of patients with ischemic stroke suggests that many of those who receive prompt hospital treatment with

Weight loss program for infrared cameras
Infrared sensors can be employed in a wide range of applications, such as driver assistance systems for vehicles or thermography for buildings.

Quality of acupuncture needles is less than perfect and must improve
The quality of acupuncture needles is high, but should still be universally improved to avoid potential problems, such as pain and skin reactions, finds research published online in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Satellites help spot whales
Scientists have demonstrated how new satellite technology can be used to count whales, and ultimately estimate their population size.

Satellite video shows movement of major US winter storm
A new NASA video of NOAA's GOES satellite imagery shows three days of movement of the massive winter storm that stretches from the southern US to the northeast.

Mountains, models, salt, sand, and cycles
Topics in this current batch of Geology articles posted ahead of print include the puzzle of parallel mountain chains; 25 years on the East Pacific Rise; unique episodes in Earth's history; turbidity currents; computer models; Wilson cycles; salt structure beneath the sea bed; the North Scotia Ridge; El Hierro, Canary Islands; sand-sized sub-spherical silica grains; bank pull or bar push; kaolinitic paleosols; Earth's youngest, hottest rocks; 3-D thermo-mechanical numerical models; and the Bohemian Massif.

Cancer researchers discover pre-leukemic stem cell at root of AML, relapse
Cancer researchers led by stem cell scientist Dr. John Dick have discovered a pre-leukemic stem cell that may be the first step in initiating disease and also the culprit that evades therapy and triggers relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Understanding the basic biology of bipolar disorder
Using an array of tests and measures,scientists at UCLA have identified about 50 bipolar-related brain and behavioral measures that contribute to an understanding of the basic biology of bipolar disorder.

Help for a scarred heart: Scarring cells turned to beating muscle
Poets and physicians know that a scarred heart cannot beat the way it used to, but the science of reprogramming cells offers hope--for the physical heart, at least.

Test for persistent Lyme infection using live ticks shown safe in clinical study
In a first-of-its-kind study for Lyme disease, researchers have used live, disease-free ticks to see if Lyme disease bacteria can be detected in people who continue to experience symptoms such as fatigue or arthritis after completing antibiotic therapy.

Poaching threatens savannah ecosystems
The white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), and other megaherbivores, are key drivers of ecosystem functioning because they're not controlled by predation.

Pregabalin effectively treats restless leg syndrome with less risk of worsening symptoms
A year-long study has found that pregabalin - which is FDA-approved to treat nerve pain, seizures, and other conditions - was effective in reducing symptoms of restless leg syndrome and that long-term pregabalin treatment was less likely than pramipexole - one of several drugs that activate the dopamine neurotransmission system and are FDA approved for RLS treatment - to cause worsening of symptoms.

Well-child visits linked to more than 700,000 subsequent flu-like illnesses
New research shows that well-child doctor appointments for annual exams and vaccinations are associated with an increased risk of flu-like illnesses in children and family members within two weeks of the visit.

Revision to rules for color in dinosaurs suggests connection between color and physiology
New research revising rules on deciphering color in dinosaurs may provide a tool for understanding the evolutionary emergence of flight and changes in dinosaur physiology.

A*STAR, NUS and NUH join forces to understand immune erosion in elderly
A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network signed a three-year partnership with the National University of Singapore, National University Hospital and Sanofi Pasteur to embark on a Phase IV clinical trial to understand age-related loss of immunity, known as immunosenescence, in elderly.

Steven Strogatz receives the 2013 AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named Steven Strogatz as the recipient of the 2013 AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award, recognizing

LA BioMed researchers report on promising new therapy for devastating genetic disorder
A promising new therapy has -- for the first time -- reduced damage to the brain that can be caused by Sanfilippo B (MPS IIIB), a rare and devastating genetic disease.

Hospitals not always prepared for full costs of implementing electronic patient records
Hospitals don't always take into account the full costs of implementing new electronic health record systems and should be better prepared if they are to maximize the benefits, finds research published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

New system combines control programs so fleets of robots can collaborate
A new system combines simple control programs to enable fleets of robots -- or other

Israel Prize awarded to influential Tel Aviv University Classics historian
Professor Irad Malkin, an expert in Classics at Tel Aviv University's Department of History, has been awarded the 2014 Israel Prize in the field of General History.

Ancient settlements and modern cities follow same rules of development, says CU-Boulder
Recently derived equations that describe development patterns in modern urban areas appear to work equally well to describe ancient cities settled thousands of years ago, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Advanced techniques yield new insights into ribosome self-assembly
Ribosomes, the cellular machines that build proteins, are themselves made up of dozens of proteins and a few looping strands of RNA.

Teledermatology app system offers efficiencies, reliably prioritizes inpatient consults
A new Penn Medicine study shows that remote consultations from dermatologists using a secure smart phone app are reliable at prioritizing care for hospitalized patients with skin conditions.

From surf to turf: Archaeologists and chemists trace ancient British diets
Studies of old rubbish dumps and dirty dishes have revealed that, 6,000 years ago, ancient Britons gave up their passion for fish to begin a love affair with milk.

Meeting the eye-witnesses of ocean change
Members of the German research network BIOACID (Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification) are developing a model that links ecosystem changes triggered by ocean acidification and climate change with their economic and societal consequences.

Exercise targets cellular powerhouses to improve heart function
Whether lifting weights in a gym or just walking around the block, exercise has many benefits, such as helping people lose weight and build stronger muscles.

More awareness, fast response key to combatting stroke in children
Parents should be aware that children are vulnerable to stroke and be prepared to respond to symptoms.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Fobane spinning down
Tropical Cyclone Fobane continues to be battered with increasing vertical wind shear as it moves southward through the Southern Indian Ocean.

"You hide it -- I'll find it!" -- Great tit has a bird's eye view when looking for dinner
Birds that hoard food for a rainy day better be sure that there are no great tits around to spy on where they hide their reserve of seeds and nuts.

Strong religious beliefs may drive self-perception of addiction to online pornography
People who consider themselves very religious and view Internet porn even once may perceive they are addicted, according to a new Case Western Reserve University's psychology study.

Neimark Award winners study statistics, chemistry, plant sciences, astrophysics and linguistics
The five winners of the 2013 Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Assistance Award study biostatistics, molecular and environmental plant sciences, chemistry, particle astrophysics, and second language acquisition.

How stellar death can lead to twin celestial jets
Astronomers know that while large stars can end their lives as violently cataclysmic supernovae, smaller stars end up as planetary nebulae -- colorful, glowing clouds of dust and gas.

Helping preserve independent living
Single seniors lead a risky life: after a fall, they often lie on the floor several hours before their awkward predicament is discovered.

Mathematical beauty activates same brain region as great art or music
People who appreciate the beauty of mathematics activate the same part of their brain when they look at aesthetically pleasing formula as others do when appreciating art or music, suggesting that there is a neurobiological basis to beauty.

Research!America honors Congressmen Frank Wolf and Chaka Fattah for advancing medical innovation
Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Chaka Fattah (D-PA) will receive the Edwin C.

Whales viewed from space
High-resolution satellite images may be a useful tool for counting whale populations for conservation purposes.

U-M scientists & colleagues investigate the fiber of our being
New research begins to uncover how our gut bacteria metabolize the complex dietary carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables.

Johns Hopkins researcher awarded inaugural Harrington Prize
Johns Hopkins pediatric cardiologist and geneticist Hal Dietz, M.D., has been awarded the first Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine for his work identifying the cause and a treatment for Marfan syndrome.

Earwax: A new frontier of human odor information
Scientists from the Monell Center have used analytical organic chemistry to identify the presence of odor-producing chemical compounds in human earwax.

Genomes of Richard III and his proven relative to be sequenced
This is about a project led by Dr. Turi King of the University of Leicester.

ADHD drugs not linked to increased stroke risk among children
Children who take medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder don't appear to be at increased stroke risk, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2014.

Solving an evolutionary puzzle
For four decades, waste from nearby manufacturing plants flowed into the waters of New Bedford Harbor -- an 18,000-acre estuary and busy seaport.

Depressed girls suffer the most
Seven out of 10 adolescents with mental health problems also suffer from chronic physical pain.

Two parents with Alzheimer's disease? Disease may show up decades early on brain scans
People who are dementia-free but have two parents with Alzheimer's disease may show signs of the disease on brain scans decades before symptoms appear, according to a new study published in the Feb.

Study: IOC should ban lead shot to help wildlife, water
With the world watching the Sochi Winter Olympics including the biathlon shooting events, now is the time for the International Olympic Committee to ban the use of lead shot to prevent wildlife poisoning and health threats to surface and groundwater, says a new paper co-authored this month by a University of Guelph biologist.

Use of mortality as measure of stroke care questioned
A new study disputes the effectiveness of mortality as a measure of the quality of care provided by hospitals to stroke patients.

UK study finds doctors are missing chances to diagnose COPD earlier
A retrospective study of almost 39,000 patients shows that opportunities to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at an earlier stage are frequently being missed in both primary and secondary care in the UK.

CHOP introduces HLA typing by next-generation sequencing to its clinical services
Immunogenetics experts at CHOP have developed a unique laboratory test for HLA typing.

New study explains how dense breast tissue drives the early stages of cancer
Scientists from The University of Manchester working with IBM Research have identified a key biological mechanism that for the first time explains why women with dense breast tissue are at greater risk of developing breast cancer.

2013 AAAS Mentor Award goes to Paul B. Tchounwou of Jackson State University
The 2013 Mentor Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will be bestowed upon Paul B.

From artificial to natural, the food industry makes a major shift
Extracts from algae, rosemary and monk fruit could soon replace synthetic ingredients and food additives such as Blue No.

FASEB announces winners of second annual Stand Up for Science video contest
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) announced today the winners of its second Stand Up for Science Video Competition.

'Viewpoint' addresses IOM report on genome-based therapeutics and companion diagnostics
The promise of personalized medicine is the ability to tailor therapy to the patient's genome and their cancer's genome using a series of tests, but the system guiding the development of those tests is complex, and plagued with challenges.

Environment change threatens indigenous know-how
Traditional medicine provides health care for more than half the world's population, but no one has really looked at how the environment affects traditional medicine.

Bees fight to a stalemate in the battle of the sexes according to new research
A new study sheds light on genomic conflict in bumblebees.

When is the right time to discuss delivery room research with parents?
Marya Strand, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, has received a $45,000 grant from the Fleur de Lis Fund of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation to study the public opinion on obtaining consent.

America's only Clovis skeleton had its genome mapped
The Clovis people were not the first humans in America, but they represent the first humans with a wide expansion on the North American continent -- until the culture mysteriously disappeared only a few hundred years after its origin.

Paper examines clinical and policy implications of intimate partner violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health concern for all, however women who experience IPV are more likely to sustain injury and report adverse health consequences.

Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel, researchers report
Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report.

Tobacco industry claims 'plain' packs won't work based on weak evidence
Tobacco companies lack strong, relevant evidence to support their claims that standardized (plain) packaging of tobacco products in the UK won't work, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Male Pinterest users are more interested in art than cars
Male users of Pinterest pin more content about photography, art, design, and home decor than sports, technology and cars, says a new study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech.

2014 AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film winners announced
Four engaging books that explore the inner workings of a school garden, the discovery of two-million-year-old fossils, the joys and possibilities of backyard bird watching, and the practical and ethical implications of biotechnology on our relationships with domesticated animals and wildlife have earned top honors in the 2014 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books competition.

Springer launches new book series International Perspectives in Geography
Springer and the Association of Japanese Geographers (AJG) have launched a new English-language book series entitled International Perspectives in Geography: AJG Library.

Cities support more native biodiversity than previously thought
The rapid conversion of natural lands to cement-dominated urban centers is causing great losses in biodiversity.

Four new galaxy clusters take researchers further back in time
Four unknown galaxy clusters each potentially containing thousands of individual galaxies have been discovered some 10 billion light years from Earth.

Penn geophysicist teams with mathematicians to describe how river rocks round
A new study by the University of Pennsylvania's Douglas Jerolmack, working with mathematicians at Budapest University of Technology and Economics, have found that rocks follow a distinct pattern as they become rounder, and then smaller, as they travel down riverbeds.

New company to develop novel gene therapies
UMass Medical School recognizes the launch today of Voyager Therapeutics, a gene therapy company founded by four world leaders in the fields of AAV gene therapy, RNA biology and neuroscience, to develop life-changing treatments for fatal and debilitating diseases of the central nervous system.

Scientists discover a new pathway for fear deep within the brain
Fear is primal. In the wild, it serves as a protective mechanism, but for humans, fear is more complex.

Rare bacteria outbreak in cancer clinic tied to lapse in infection control procedure
Improper handling of intravenous saline at a West Virginia outpatient oncology clinic was linked with the first reported outbreak of Tsukamurella spp., gram-positive bacteria that rarely cause disease in humans, in a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Popular disinfectants do not kill HPV
Commonly used disinfectants do not kill human papillomavirus (HPV) that makes possible non-sexual transmission of the virus, thus creating a need for hospital policy changes, according to researchers from Penn State College of Medicine and Brigham Young University.

Lost and found: New beetle collected by Darwin 180 years ago published on his birthday
On Feb. 12, Darwin's birthday, scientists name a long lost new beetle genus and species after him to commemorate the legacy of the father of evolution.

New data shows continued decline of African forest elephants
New data from the field in Central Africa shows that between 2002 and 2013, 65 percent of forest elephants were killed.

Thatcher's policies condemned for causing 'unjust premature death'
A public health expert from the University of Liverpool has published a study analyzing the impacts of Margaret Thatcher's government policies on the health of Britain.

Weather changes may be linked with stroke hospitalization, death
Stroke hospitalization and death rates may be associated with changes in environmental temperature and dew point.

Mapping the mind of a mating male
A comprehensive reconstruction of the neuronal circuits for mating behaviors in the adult male roundworm won the 2013 Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Clinical and economic outcomes of nutrition interventions across the continuum of care
This conference will focus on malnutrition's clinical and economic impacts of prevention across the continuum of care; new approaches and interventions to integrated care; and, a health systems approach to delivery of nutrition interventions.

Exercise targets cellular powerhouses to improve heart function
Whether lifting weights in a gym or just walking around the block, exercise has many benefits, such as helping people lose weight and build stronger muscles.

Sleep apnea common among stroke-related brainstem injuries
Stroke damage to the brainstem is associated with the presence and severity of sleep apnea.

San Francisco's big 1906 quake was third of a series on San Andreas Fault
Research led by a University of Oregon doctoral student in California's Santa Cruz Mountains has uncovered geologic evidence that supports historical narratives for two earthquakes in the 68 years prior to San Francisco's devastating 1906 disaster.

2013 AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy goes to Siegfried Hecker
Siegfried Hecker, director emeritus of Los Alamos National Laboratory and an internationally recognized expert in plutonium science, global threat reduction, and nuclear security, has been chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to receive the 2013 Award for Science Diplomacy.

2013 AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award goes to Hoosen Coovadia
Hoosen Coovadia, a South African pediatrician and research scientist, and international authority on HIV/AIDS, particularly mother-to-child transmission, has been named recipient of the 2013 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Australian state has higher rate of hypothermia deaths than Sweden
New research from the University of Adelaide shows that the state of South Australia has a higher rate of deaths from extreme cold compared with the northern European nation of Sweden.

Capillaries will measure diffusion and help in more efficient medical treatment
How strongly do two dissolved analytes react with each other?

Worm infections in developing countries: Veterinary drugs improve the health of school children
A new study by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveals that the health of millions of children with worm infections could be improved thanks to a veterinary drug.

The physics of curly hair
Researchers develop first detailed model for a 3-D strand of curly hair.

Innovating for the Global South: New book offers practical insights
Innovating for the Global South: Towards an Inclusive Innovation Agenda, the latest book from Rotman-UTP Publishing and the first volume in the Munk Series on Global Affairs, offers fresh solutions for reducing poverty in the developing world.
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