Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 29, 2015
Many religious people view science favorably, but reject certain scientific theories
A new study finds that many US adults -- roughly one in five -- are deeply religious, know a lot about science, and support many practical uses of science and technology in everyday life, but reject scientific explanations of creation and evolution.

Added fructose is a principal driver of type 2 diabetes
Recent studies have shown that added sugars, particularly those containing fructose, are a principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes, even more so than other carbohydrates.

Survival of very premature infants is improving in France
Since 2011, nearly 7,000 premature infants have been enrolled in the Inserm EPIPAGE 2 study.

Physicians explore why children with sickle cell disease are experiencing mixed results on hydroxyurea
Electronic medication monitoring caps may help physicians put together the puzzle of why children taking a medicine that promises to curb sickle cell disease are showing mixed, confusing results.

New clues about a brain protein with high affinity for Valium
Valium, one of the best known antianxiety drugs, produces its calming effects by binding with a particular protein in the brain.

$2.2 million grant enables IUPUI to study depression-cardiovascular disease link in HIV patients
Jesse Stewart of the School of Science and two colleagues have received a $2.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to investigate the links between depression, depression treatment and cardiovascular disease in adults with HIV.

Study finds texting may be more suitable than apps in treatment of mental illness
Texting may be a more suitable treatment aid for those with mental illness than mobile applications.

Vehicle body made from cotton, hemp, and wood
Carbon and glass fibers reinforce synthetics so that they can be used for vehicle body construction.

Where did the missing oil go? New FSU study says some is sitting on the Gulf floor
A new study led by Florida State University professor of oceanography Jeff Chanton finds that some 6 million to 10 million gallons of oil from the BP oil spill are buried in the sediment on the Gulf floor, about 62 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta.

Ancient 'genomic parasites' spurred evolution of pregnancy in mammals
An international team of scientists has identified large-scale genetic changes that marked the evolution of pregnancy in mammals.

New minimally invasive test identifies patients for Barrett's esophagus screening
A new minimally invasive cell sampling device coupled with assessment of trefoil factor 3 expression can be used to identify patients with reflux symptoms who warrant endoscopy to diagnose Barrett's esophagus, according to a study published by Rebecca Fitzgerald and colleagues from the MRC Cancer Unit, UK, in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Infants create new knowledge while sleeping
There is no rest for a baby's brain -- not even in sleep.

Lofar's record-sharp image gives astronomers a new view of galaxy M 82
An international team of astronomers led from Chalmers University of Technology has used the giant radio telescope Lofar to create the sharpest astronomical image ever taken at very long radio wavelengths.

Which health messages work?
Is it better to be positive or negative? Many of the most vivid public health appeals have been negative -- 'Smoking Kills' or 'Drink, Drive, and Die' -- but do these negative messages work when it comes to changing eating behavior?

Shared symptoms of Chikungunya virus, rheumatoid arthritis may cloud diagnosis
A mosquito-borne virus that has spread to the Caribbean and Central and South America and has caused isolated infections in Florida often causes joint pain and swelling similar to that seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Forecasting the flu better -- through combo of 'big' and traditional data
UC San Diego researchers say they can predict the spread of flu a week into the future with as much accuracy as Google Flu Trends can display levels of infection right now.

Invasive species in the Great Lakes by 2063
The Great Lakes are the freshwater system that has been the most invaded by non-native species.

UC San Diego, UC San Francisco launch new cancer cell mapping initiative
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco, with support from a diverse team of collaborators, have launched an ambitious new project -- dubbed the Cancer Cell Map Initiative or CCMI -- to determine how all of the components of a cancer cell interact.

CU-Boulder-created app first to use gesture for language learning
While you might think a person shaking her phone or tablet from side to side is having issues with the device, she might actually be playing a game that has her mimicking a steering wheel motion as part of a language lesson.

Solar chip monitors windows
A new kind of radio chip is intended to warn when windows are left open.

Ultrasound technology made to measure
The range of uses for ultrasound is gigantic; the applied technologies are just as diverse.

Gut bacteria byproduct linked to chronic kidney disease for the first time
Cleveland Clinic researchers have, for the first time, linked trimethylamine N-oxide -- a gut metabolite formed during the digestion of egg-, red meat- or dairy-derived nutrients choline and carnitine -- to chronic kidney disease.

Canceled flights: For monarch butterflies, loss of migration means more disease
A new study by University of Georgia ecologists finds that sedentary winter-breeding monarch butterflies are at increased risk of disease, a discovery that could apply to other migratory species as well.

Ancient skull proves modern humans colonized Eurasia 60-70,000 years ago
A skull discovered by Tel Aviv University researchers provides direct anatomical evidence that fills a problematic time gap of modern human migration into Europe.

Parkinson's gene linked to lung cancer
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in collaboration with other colleagues of the Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium, have identified a gene that is associated with lung cancer.

Crystal light: New light-converting materials point to cheaper, more efficient solar power
Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs.

Genetic basis of color diversity in coral reefs discovered
Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered the genetic basis which allows corals to produce their stunning range of colors.

Scientists reveal global patterns of specialized feeding in insect herbivores
After decades of field work from dozens of sites around the world, and after two years of combing through and analyzing data, Matt Forister from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an international team have reported on global patterns in the diets of insect herbivores.

Building trustworthy big data algorithms
Northwestern University professor Luis Amaral's new TopicMapping algorithm shows better accuracy and reproducibility than the leading algorithm for mining unstructured text.

Steroid therapy increases risk of blood clots 5-fold in IBD patients
Compared with biologic therapy, corticosteroid (steroid) use is associated with a nearly five-fold increase of venous thromboembolism in inflammatory bowel disease patients, according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Diamondra sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean not threatening land
Tropical Cyclone Diamondra is currently in the middle of the Indian Ocean and is not threatening any land masses at this time.

Gender roles: Men and women are not so different after all
Gender is a large part of our identity that is often defined by our psychological differences as men and women.

Study on dopamine neurons could instruct research into mobility and neurological disorders
A University of Leicester team finds for the first time when and why dopamine-releasing cells in the forebrain are activated.

Hydrogen sulfide could help lower blood pressure
Research has indicated that a new compound, called AP39, which generates minute quantities of the gas hydrogen sulfide inside cells, could be beneficial in cases of high blood pressure and diseases of the blood vessels that occur with aging and diabetes.

Altered dopamine signaling a clue to autism
Newly discovered genetic variations linked to autism spectrum disorder disrupt the function of the dopamine transporter, suggesting that altered dopamine signaling contributes to this common developmental condition, according to a Vanderbilt University-led research team.

Understanding cellular aging
Researchers at the BBSRC-supported Babraham Institute have mapped the physical structure of the nuclear landscape in unprecedented detail to understand changes in genomic interactions occurring in cell senescence and aging.

Fox Chase researchers reveal how pancreatic cancer cells sidestep chemotherapy
Research led by Timothy J. Yen, Ph.D., professor at Fox Chase Cancer Center, reveals that one reason pancreatic cancer can be so challenging to treat is because its cells have found a way to sidestep chemotherapy.

Mercury levels in Hawaiian yellowfin tuna increasing
Mercury concentrations in Hawaiian yellowfin tuna are increasing at a rate of 3.8 percent or more per year, according to a new University of Michigan-led study that suggests rising atmospheric levels of the toxin are to blame.

Common pesticide may increase risk of ADHD
A new study provides strong evidence, using data from animal models and humans, that exposure to a common household pesticide may be a risk factor for ADHD.

Baleen whales hear through their bones
Understanding how baleen whales hear has posed a great mystery to marine mammal researchers.

Researchers provide insights for reducing drug overdoses through community education
Results from a new study show that participants in drug overdose education programs tend to be parents (mostly mothers) who provide financial support for their son/daughter, have daily contact with their loved one, have applied for court-mandated treatment and have witnessed an overdose.

Feelings of loneliness and depression linked to binge-watching television
It seems harmless: getting settled in for a night of marathon session for a favorite TV show, like House of Cards.

'Feeding and fasting' hormone adropin can improve insulin action
New research from a Saint Louis University scientist holds promise for type 2 diabetes treatment.

Obamacare co-ops show promise and peril
The health insurance co-ops spawned under Obamacare have had an impact in the marketplace, but their long-term viability will depend on their mettle in the marketplace, writes Eli Y.

Erectile dysfunction drugs could protect liver from sepsis-induced damage, says Pitt team
Drugs that are on the market to treat erectile dysfunction could have another use: they might be able to protect the liver from damage caused by sepsis, a systemic inflammatory response to infection, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

A rare glimpse at the elusive Saharan cheetah
Research by scientists and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoological Society of London, and other groups published today in PLOS ONE shows that critically endangered Saharan cheetahs exist at incredibly low densities and require vast areas for their conservation.

Walking on ice takes more than brains
Salk scientists discover how a 'mini-brain' in the spinal cord aids in balance.

Iceland rises as its glaciers melt from climate change
The Earth's crust under Iceland is rebounding as global warming melts the island's great ice caps.

£1 million to train the next generation of DNA scientists
A new £1 million research center funded by the Leverhulme Trust at the University of Huddersfield will train the next generation of specialists in a field that uses the latest DNA science to delve into evolutionary history, from the origins of animals to the spread of modern humans.

Testing for EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements is cost-effective in NSCLC
Multiplexed genetic screening for epidermal growth factor receptor and anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene rearrangements and subsequent biomarker-guided treatment is cost-effective compared with standard chemotherapy treatment without any molecular testing in the metastatic non-small cell lung cancer setting in the United States.

Forward looking report on quantum biology presented in Brussels
The scientific community represented by about 40 researchers and officials from research funding organizations gathered in Brussels on Jan.

Growing functioning brain tissue in 3-D
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan have succeeded in inducing human embryonic stem cells to self-organize into a three-dimensional structure similar to the cerebellum, providing tantalizing clues in the quest to recreate neural structures in the laboratory.

Bio-inspired autonomous vehicles expand Navy littoral capabilities
NRL researchers have taken inspiration from nature to design and develop novel underwater propulsion and control solutions for near-shore and littoral zone missions using autonomous underwater vehicles.

New study details future of oil and gas development in the Western Amazon
The western Amazon -- a vast region encompassing the Amazonian portions of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and western Brazil -- is one of the world's last high-biodiversity wilderness landscapes.

Study shows Tamiflu gets patients back on their feet faster, reduces flu complications
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of antiviral drugs to help treat influenza, in a year when the available vaccine is not a good match for the current strain.

Genetically engineered antibody-based molecules show enhanced HIV-fighting abilities
Capitalizing on a new insight into HIV's strategy for evading antibodies -- proteins produced by the immune system to identify and wipe out invading objects such as viruses -- Caltech researchers have developed antibody-based molecules that are more than 100 times better than our bodies' own defenses at binding to and neutralizing HIV, when tested in vitro.

Internists join in brief urging Supreme Court to uphold ACA's premium subsidies
The American College of Physicians today -- along with other health care organizations -- submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in the King v.

Biomaterial coating raises prospect of more successful medical implants
A novel, bacteria-repelling coating material that could increase the success of medical implants has been created by researchers.

CNIO researchers broaden the catalogue of biological chimeras for the study of the genome
The team led by Alfonso Valencia gathers 29,000 biological chimeras from eight species, including humans, mice and yeast.

Business Secretary Vince Cable announces £40 million for UK synthetic biology
Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced £40 million investment in UK synthetic biology at the Manchester Institute for Biotechnology.

UZH researcher Martin Jinek wins prestigious Friedrich Miescher Prize
Martin Jinek from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Zurich has won the Friedrich Miescher Prize, which carries CHF 20,000 in prize money.

Among gut microbes, strains, not just species, matter
Sophisticated genomic techniques now allow scientists to estimate the strains, not just the species, in samples of the human gut's microbe collection.

Study analyzes Internet, mobile and video game effects on young users
The study has analyzed the use of information and communication technologies by secondary school students, by using a sample of 5,538 students from Catalonia.

Why do zebras have stripes?
One of nature's fascinating questions is how zebras got their stripes.

Home is a safe haven for female deer
To female black-tailed deer, their home turf provides a safe haven and a refuge against predation by pumas.

New research shows our seas are in trouble
New research by the University of Sheffield has warned of the increasing risk of extinction to our marine life.

Are pornography users more likely to exhibit unsafe sexual behaviors?
Sexual risk behaviors such as casual sex, lack of condom use, and a high number of sexual partners have been linked to poor health outcomes, including an increased incidence of sexually transmitted infections.

San Diego team wins $1.7 million grant from stem cell agency to develop quality control methods
A team at The Scripps Research Institute has won a $1,784,000 grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to support the development of a new method for detecting DNA damage in stem cells.

Love and intimacy in later life -- new study reveals active sex lives of the over 70s
Older people are continuing to enjoy active sex lives well into their seventies and eighties, according to new research from The University of Manchester and NatCen Social Research.

Individuals may fail to navigate complex tradeoffs in privacy decision-making
Carnegie Mellon University researchers detail the privacy hurdles people face while navigating in the information age, and what should be done about privacy at a policy level, in a review published in the Jan.

Los Alamos develops new technique for growing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells
Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers reveal a new solution-based hot-casting technique that allows growth of highly efficient and reproducible solar cells from large-area perovskite crystals.

New potential therapeutic strategy against a very aggressive infant bone cancer
Researchers at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, led by Oscar Martínez Tirado participated in an international study which suggests inhibition of Sirtuin1 protein as a future treatment option for metastatic Ewing sarcoma.

Heat waves becoming more prominent in urban areas, research reveals
The world's urban areas have experienced significant increases in heat waves over the past 40 years, according to new research published today.

Why is a dolphin not a cat?
A study of gene regulation in 20 mammals, published in Cell, provides new insights into how species diverged millions of years ago.

Game on: Virtual trainer takes serious approach to electronic warfare
Missiles are launched at a Navy ship, and Sailors must decide in a matter of seconds how to keep from getting hit.

HIV testing yields diagnoses in Kenya but few seek care
A sweeping effort in a rural region of Kenya to test all adults for HIV discovered 1,300 new infections, but few of the newly diagnosed people pursued treatment, a study in the journal Lancet HIV reports.

See the future: Naval EXPO coming to Washington, D.C.
For the first time ever, the general public will be admitted free to the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO general exhibit hall -- able to see the Electromagnetic Railgun, an autonomous swarmboat, a firefighting robot and much more.

Malta Polyphenols World Congress: 9th World Congress on Polyphenols Applications
The 9th World Congress on Polyphenols Applications: Malta Polyphenols 2015 will be held in Malta, from June 3-5, 2015.

Tracking fish easier, quicker, safer with new injectable device
A new acoustic fish-tracking tag is so tiny it can be injected with a syringe.

New deep-brain imaging reveals separate functions for nearly identical neurons
Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have used new deep-brain imaging techniques to link the activity of individual, genetically similar neurons to particular behaviors of mice.

Could a new proposed particle help to detect dark matter?
Researchers at the University of Southampton have proposed a new fundamental particle which could explain why no one has managed to detect 'dark matter,' the elusive missing 85 percent of the universe's mass.

Bird watchers help federal agencies pinpoint conservation priorities
Migratory birds are a little like college students moving from home to school and back over the year.

Global warming won't mean more stormy weather
A study led by atmospheric physicists at the University of Toronto finds that global warming will not lead to an overall increasingly stormy atmosphere, a topic debated by scientists for decades.

Crucial protective role observed for farnesoid-X receptor in cholestatic liver injury
The farnesoid-X receptor (FXR), also known as the chief regulator of bile acid metabolism, is thought to play a role in some hepatobiliary and gastrointestinal disorders.

First-ever view of protein structure may lead to better anxiety drugs
When new medicines are invented, the drug may hit the intended target and nullify the symptoms, but nailing a bull's eye -- one that produces zero side effects -- can be quite elusive.

CAT scan of nearby supernova remnant reveals frothy interior
Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short, is one of the most well studied supernova remnants in our galaxy.

Heavy drinking in middle-age may increase stroke risk more than traditional factors
Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day in middle-age raised stroke risks more than traditional factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Tropical Cyclone Eunice still churning in the Southern Indian Ocean
The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Eunice in the South Indian Ocean, well south of Diego Garcia and the Cocos Islands.

Public and scientists express strikingly different views about science-related issues
Despite similar views about the overall place of science in America, the general public and scientists often see science-related issues through a different lens, according to a new pair of surveys by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Is this the year you join the 1 percent?
Here's some good news for the New Year: According to new research by Washington University in St.

Novel eye-tracking technology detects concussions and head injury severity
Research led by NYU Langone Medical Center conducted on patients who visited the emergency department found those with head trauma had significantly less ability to coordinate their eye movements than normal, uninjured control subjects.

Repeated head blows linked to smaller brain volume and slower processing speeds
Impact evident at relatively young age and linked to heightened risk of cognitive impairment.

Facelift surgery after massive weight loss poses challenges, reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Patients undergoing bariatric surgery for severe obesity are often left with excess, sagging skin affecting all areas of the body -- including the face.

Genetics Society of America names Brian Charlesworth as recipient of Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal
The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is pleased to announce that Brian Charlesworth, Ph.D., (University of Edinburgh) has been awarded the Society's Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal for lifetime achievement in the field of genetics.

University of South Florida scientists develop compound to fight MRSA
Microbiologists and chemists at the University of South Florida have developed and patented a synthetic compound that has shown antibiotic action against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA, which can cause many serious infections and deaths.

Renewable biofuel production avoids competition with food resources
The efficient production of both biofuel and animal feed from one crop is now possible, and can be done on a farm without the need for off-site processes.

Elon Musk headlines Space Station research and development conference
Elon Musk, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference, which takes place in Boston July 7-9.

Landmark study to track 'pioneer' generation of transgender children
A groundbreaking new study, believed to be the first to focus on transgender children living as their identified gender in all aspects of their lives, finds that their gender identity is deeply rooted.

More than one-third of kids in England are overweight/obese
But some evidence that rates may be leveling off in younger children.

The tell-tale signs of a galactic merger
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this striking view of spiral galaxy NGC 7714.

Support found for peer-mentoring diabetes management program
A new study finds teens and young adults would welcome a peer-mentoring program to help them manage their type 1 diabetes.

Picking up on the smell of evolution
UA researchers have discovered some of the changes in genes, physiology and behavior that enable a species to drastically change its lifestyle in the course of evolution.

Generating Möbius strips of light
A collaboration of researchers from Canada, Europe and the USA have experimentally produced Möbius strips from the polarization of light, confirming a theoretical prediction that it is possible for light's electromagnetic field to assume this peculiar shape.

Kidney-brain connection may help drive chronic kidney disease
Salt intake accelerated kidney scarring in rats with chronic kidney disease by activating a brain-kidney connection called the renin-angiotensin axis that interlinks the damaged kidney and brain by afferent and efferent sympathetic nerves.

Who's going to win? The answer could change by the hour
The outcome of that big sporting event you just can't wait to watch may depend on how the timing of the match aligns -- or doesn't -- with the internal biological clocks of the athletes on the teams, according to a study reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Jan.

Transgender kids show consistent gender identity across measures
A study with 32 transgender children, ages 5 to 12, indicates that the gender identity of these children is deeply held and is not the result of confusion about gender identity or pretense.

She thinks friends, he thinks sex
Men and women constantly misunderstand each other when it comes to the difference between being friends or sexual partners.

Structure of world's largest single cell is reflected at the molecular level
Daniel Chitwood, Ph.D., assistant member, and his research group at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center's in St.

Privacy challenges
In this week's issue of the journal Science, MIT researchers report that just four fairly vague pieces of information -- the dates and locations of four purchases -- are enough to identify 90 percent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users.

How negative stereotyping affects older people
The most comprehensive analysis to date of research on the effect of negative stereotypes on older people's abilities has concluded that these stereotypes create a significant problem for that demographic.

Powerful tool promises to change the way scientists view proteins
Life scientists now have access to a publicly available web resource that streamlines and simplifies the process of gleaning insight from 3-D protein structures.

Dartmouth researchers determine key element in circadian clock speed
In a discovery that may lead to new treatments for sleep disorders, jet lag and other health problems tied to circadian rhythms, researchers at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine have identified a determinant of the circadian clock's period.

Can Lean Management improve hospitals?
Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques according to new research.

Public health amicus brief argues in support of administration position in King v. Burwell
An amicus brief by 19 deans and over 80 faculty members from schools of public health and public health programs across the nation was filed yesterday in support of the administration's position on King v.

Identified the mechanism that controls localization of protein Rac1 in the cell nucleus
The prolonged presence of Rac1 in the nucleus leads to changes in nuclear morphology that are important in cell migration.

Heat waves becoming more prominent in urban areas, research reveals
The number of cities across the globe that experience heat waves has increased since the 1970s and the frequency of those heat waves has increased as well as the heat island effect amplifies global warming, find an international team of researchers.

Diet and nutrition essential for mental health
Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaboration led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University has revealed.

Blood vessel calcification may put kidney stone formers at increased risk of heart disease
People who develop recurrent kidney stones have more calcification in their arteries, which could explain their increased risk for heart disease.

Complex environments push 'brain' evolution
Little animations trying to master a computer game are teaching neuroscience researchers how the brain evolves when faced with difficult tasks.

Study: Blame men for political gridlock
A new study published in 'Politics, Groups, and Identities' found that men in survey and experimental data were more likely than women to avoid cross-party political discussion, to judge political arguments based solely on what party is advancing them, and to form strong political opinions about the opposite party's positions without actually listening to the other side's reasoning.

NASA measured nor'easter's powerful winds from space
When blizzard warnings were in effect in New England, NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument provided forecasters with wind speed data on the nor'easter that had hurricane-force wind gusts.

MD Anderson, AstraZeneca collaborate to improve patient outcomes in ovarian and gynecologic cancers
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and AstraZeneca today announced a multi-year strategic research collaboration to conduct multiple, parallel clinical and clinically related studies in ovarian and other gynecologic cancers with the aim of improving patient outcomes.

Probiotic helps treat diabetes in rats, could lead to human remedy
Science may be one step closer to treating diabetes with a human probiotic pill, according to new Cornell University research.

Researchers discover brain circuit that controls compulsive overeating and sugar addiction
Compulsive overeating and sugar addiction are major threats to human health, but potential treatments face the risk of impairing normal feeding behaviors that are crucial for survival.

In a role reversal, RNAs proofread themselves
Building a protein is a lot like a game of telephone: information is passed along from one messenger to another, creating the potential for errors.

Made-in-Singapore rapid test kit detects dengue antibodies from saliva
Finding out whether you have been infected with dengue may soon be as easy as spitting into a rapid test kit.
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