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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | December 13, 2016


Study: Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands
Deep stores of carbon in northern peatlands may be safe from rising temperatures, according to a team of researchers from several US-based institutions.
Unexpected activity of 2 enzymes helps explain why liver cancer drugs fail
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that lack of two types of enzymes can lead to liver disease and cancer in mice.
Anti-tumor effect of novel plasma medicine caused by lactate
Nagoya University researchers developed a new physical plasma-activated salt solution for use as chemotherapy.
Evangelicals are more skeptical of evolution than of climate change
Evangelicals are more skeptical of evolution than of climate change, according to new research from Rice University.
A look at the US cold snap from NASA infrared imagery
Imagery and an animation of infrared imagery from the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite showed the movement of cold, Arctic air over the U.S. from Dec.
How organizations can boost charitable giving
Charities and nonprofits can increase engagement and revenue by setting suggested donation levels that are appropriate for their donor lists, according to new research by the University at Buffalo School of Management.
U-M researchers map New Zealand landslides with satellites, drones, helicopters, hiking boots
A University of Michigan-led team of geologists and engineers is mapping surface ruptures and some of the tens of thousands of landslides triggered by last month's magnitude-7.8 earthquake in New Zealand.
NASA provides 2 views of former Tropical Cyclone Vardah
NASA satellite data provided a look at the cloud cover and rainfall rates within Tropical Cyclone Vardah.
Scientists unravel mechanism fueling growth of aggressive Rhabdoid tumors
Rhabdoid tumors are among the most recalcitrant childhood cancers, and scientists have long sought ways to understand what drives their resilience and makes them impervious to treatment.
New discovery may improve recovery after stroke
Faster and better recovery after stroke may be the result of a newly discovered treatment strategy that created new nerve synapses in the brain -- a key factor for learning.
Indianapolis entrepreneur gives $30 million for IU School of Medicine immunotherapy center
Indianapolis technology entrepreneur Don Brown invests $30 million in an immunotherapy center at Indiana University School of Medicine to leverage research into immune-system therapies and to jump-start a new set of biotechnology businesses in his home state.
Swedish and Greek archaeologists discover unknown city in Greece
An international research team at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, is exploring the remains of an ancient city in central Greece.
'Western' maternal diet appears to raise obesity risk in offspring
Diet composition around the time of pregnancy may influence whether offspring become obese, according to a new study using animal models at the Scripps Research Institute.
Stimulator bypasses spine injury, helps patients move hands
An experimental procedure involving an implanted spinal stimulator is showing early promise in helping paralyzed patients regain strength and partial use of their hands.
Feeling grateful? No, thanks!
Not everyone experiences gratitude in response to the generosity of others.
Follicular lymphoma: A tale of 2 cancers
Many people survive well beyond 10 years following diagnosis of follicular lymphoma.
Scientists see 'new Arctic' is more prone to melting and storms
Scientists in a rare and sometimes dangerous study of the Arctic have found that the region's thinning sea ice is more prone to melting and storms, threatening its role as a moderator of the planet's climate.
Battery research reaching out to higher voltages
Lithium-ion batteries running at higher voltages promise higher performance for high-energy applications such as electric cars and power storage systems.
New research provides methods to combat holiday excess
An American University Kogod School of Business Professor researched the transformative potential of applying mindfulness to consumerism.
Lehigh University's Dr. Nelson Tansu elected Fellow of National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
Professor Nelson Tansu of Lehigh University's P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
Can't smell asparagus pee? Is Pokémon GO good exercise?
A large proportion of individuals of European-American descent cannot smell 'asparagus pee' -- the unpleasant odor present in urine after people eat asparagus.
A skillful rescue robot with remote-control function
A group of Japanese researchers developed a prototype construction robot for disaster relief situations.
New X-ray technique could improve bomb detection and breast cancer treatment
An exciting X-ray imaging technology has been successfully developed to the point where it is now ready for translation into all kinds of beneficial applications, including potentially life-saving uses in security and health care.
Science and legal experts debate future uses and impact of human genome editing in Gender & the Genome
Precise, economical genome editing tools such as CRISPR have made it possible to make targeted changes in genes, which could be applied to human embryos to correct mutations, prevent disease, or alter traits.
College bowl games deliver $1.5 billion annual economic impact
A new report puts the economic impact of the nation's college bowl games at $1.5 billion annually.
RTI International, Validic to optimize data from wearables like FitBit for health research
RTI International and Validic have partnered to optimize consumer wearable and health sensor data for research.
The delights of dirt
Soil can be beautiful, odiferous, slimy or sublime. It provides simple pleasures, such as its rich earthy scent after warm rain or the feeling of crumbling it between the fingers.
Studies probe value and impact of direct-to-consumer genetic testing
The latest results from the PGen study were published on Dec.
American death rate from drugs, alcohol, and mental disorders nearly triples since 1980
The study, published in the Dec. 13th issue of JAMA, examines deaths in 21 cause groups, ranging from chronic illnesses like diabetes and other endocrine diseases, to infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, to accidents, including traffic fatalities.
Drugs from nature: Big effects of multiple compounds in small amounts
A research group led by Professor Helge Bode (Goethe University) has now discovered a whole class of new peptides with which bacteria are able to kill insect larvae.
Broken shoulder leads to carpal tunnel syndrome surgery study
After injuring his shoulder, a psychology professor collaborated with his orthopedic surgeon on a study to see how quickly patients regain their typing speed after carpal tunnel surgery.
Supercomputer simulation reveals 2-D glass can go infinitely soft
Scientists have found that the thermal motion of 2-D glass grows infinitely, which might possibly alter the mechanism of glass transition in low dimensions.
'Keystone dialogue' leads to major breakthrough in ocean stewardship
Through the 'keystone dialogues' -- a new approach to engage major international businesses with research for global sustainability -- companies have committed to improving transparency and traceability and reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in their supply chains.
Pessimists -- you aren't alone in feeling down
In a new study called 'Even Optimists Get the Blues: Inter-Individual Consistency in the Tendency to Brace for the Worst,' published in the Journal of Personality, Kate Sweeny, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, and Angelica Falkenstein, a graduate student in psychology at UCR, find that there are no differences between optimists and pessimists when it comes to potential bad news.
Splice project to put a (polymer) spring into vehicle fuel efficiency
Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have won research funding worth £250,000 from Innovate UK for a project that will put a (polymer) spring into vehicle fuel efficiency.
Breakup of supercontinent Pangea cooled mantle and thinned crust
The oceanic crust produced by the Earth today is significantly thinner than crust made 170 million years ago during the time of the supercontinent Pangea, according to University of Texas at Austin researchers.
Forming a second line of plant defense -- capturing disease-resistant DNA
Scientists have developed a new improved method for capturing longer DNA fragments, doubling the size up to 7,000 DNA bases that can be analyzed for novel genes which provide plants with immunity to disease.
Are death row cases plagued with racial bias?
Defendants charged with murder in North Carolina from 1990 to 2009 were more than twice as likely to receive the death penalty if the victims were white, Michigan State University researchers have found.
Study first to show role of Parkin gene in eye lens free radical formation, cell survival
A new study is the first to demonstrate that the Parkin gene is turned on when cells are exposed to environmental insults that cause free radical formation and cataract formation.
2016 Eastern Analytical Symposium Award awarded to Sandy Dasgupta
Purnendu 'Sandy' Dasgupta, the Hamish Small Chair of Ion Analysis in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UTA, was named recipient of the 2016 Eastern Analytical Symposium's highest award, the Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Analytical Chemistry.
UCI team to play key role in national study on how physical activity benefits health
With the support of a major National Institutes of Health initiative, University of California, Irvine pediatric researchers will lead an effort to study the molecular changes that occur in the body in response to exercise training in order to advance our understanding of how physical activity improves and preserves health in children.
Infants show apparent awareness of ethnic differences, UCLA psychologists report
Infants less than a year old, who have yet to learn language, are aware of ethnic differences, a new study by UCLA psychologists shows.
Sugar and sweeteners -- how do they affect our appetite?
What should healthy young men who want to watch their weight and manage their blood sugar levels drink?
New wheat crops as an alternative to a gluten-free diet
Wheat, one of the most widely consumed grains in the world, contains gluten, a mixture of proteins that can be toxic for people with coeliac disease.
McMaster engineer named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors
Ali Emadi of McMaster University's Faculty of Engineering has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
Study links nutrition to brain health and intelligence in older adults
A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of 'crystallized intelligence,' the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.
UCSB professors elected to National Academy of Inventors
Professors Larry Coldren and James Speck honored by NAI for their 'highly prolific spirit of innovation.'
Brain structure best explains our dwindling tolerance of risk
Our brain's changing structure, not simply getting older and wiser, most affects our attitudes to risk, research published in Nature Communications shows.
Kelp beats the heat
Using long-term ecological data, marine scientists evaluate the sentinel status of giant kelp during a recent marine heat wave.
NASA communications network to double space station data rates
Life aboard the International Space Station depends upon massive amounts of data, ever bit of which travels to Earth via the Space Network.
The good and bad of MRI evaluation of the urothelial tract
When performed properly, MR urography (MRU) can be an alternative to CT urography (CTU) for imaging of the entire urinary tract.
Does corporate social responsibility marketing work? It depends who and where you are
Consumers in dominant collectivist cultures, such as India and South Korea, are more likely to support corporate social responsibility, or CSR, initiatives from brands based in their own country as opposed to foreign or global corporations.
Teen substance use shows promising decline
The 2016 Monitoring the Future (MTF) annual survey results released today from NIH reflect changing teen behaviors and choices in a social media-infused world.
Topical skin cream for treatment of basal cell carcinoma shows promise as an alternative to surgery
A new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology examines the effectiveness of imiquimod, a topical skin cream used to treat low-risk BCC lesions, over a five-year period.
RIT professor awarded NSF grant to benefit the next generation of games scholars
As a doctoral candidate, Owen Gottlieb received advice from a consortium that eventually led him to a successful teaching and research career.
Scientists redefine horned dinosaur relationships by naming 2 new ceratopsian tribes
Scientists identify two new tribes of ceratopsian dinosaurs based on distinctions in frill ornamentation.
Using herpes drugs to slow down Alzheimer's disease could become reality
The first clinical study to investigate if herpes virus drugs can have an effect on fundamental Alzheimer's disease processes has been launched at Umeå University in Sweden.
Insulin resistance and polycystic ovary syndrome
Insulin resistance represents a major issue for people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), an endocrine disorder which is very common in young women, according to a new analysis of available data carried out by Dr.
Sustained enjoyment in older age linked to longer life
Sustained enjoyment of life over several years in older age is associated with lower mortality, finds a study in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.
Eat and be eaten: Invasive scavengers in Hawaii alter island nutrient cycle
Researchers from the University of Georgia have found that invasive species on Hawaii Island may be especially successful invaders because they are formidable scavengers of carcasses of other animals and after death, a nutrient resource for other invasive scavengers.
Drug for narcolepsy could help food addicts lose weight
Overweight people could be given help with the discovery that a drug used for sleep disorder could also reduce the impulse for food.
Extraordinary animation reveals ocean's role in El Niños
Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and National Computational Infrastructure have produced a spectacular animation of the largest El Niño ever recorded, using ocean model data from Australia's most powerful supercomputer Raijin.
The shape of a bird's wing determines where it lives
Bird's wings generally become shorter and more rounded the closer they live to the equator.
New technique switches key biomolecules on and off
A new technique that will allow scientists to determine the effects of turning on and off a set of molecules involved in almost every cellular pathway, determine their downstream effects, and uncover new drug targets has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Research identifies a molecular basis for common congenital brain defect
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have discovered a molecular cause of hydrocephalus, a common, potentially life-threatening birth defect in which the head is enlarged due to excess fluid surrounding the brain.
Extensive experience does not necessarily make policemen better murder investigators
Recently graduated Norwegian police officers may perform better in murder cases than investigators with extensive experience.
AGU Fall Meeting: Syrian refugees face new obstacle: Turkish earthquakes
Earthquake deaths in Turkey could rise by 20 percent when Syrian refugees are factored into risk assessments.
Mutations acquired trans-Pacific may be key to changes in Zika severity
Though Zika has been known for 70 years, in many ways the virus is still poorly understood.
Pokémon Go moderately improves physical activity among adults
Pokémon Go improves physical activity among adults who use the game, but the effect is moderate and not sustained over time, finds a study published in The BMJ Christmas issue this week.
Your left hand knows what your right hand is doing
The saying goes that ''your left hand doesn't know what your right hand is doing,' but actually, your left hand is paying more attention than you'd think.
Researchers create new way to trap dangerous gases
A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas has developed a novel method for trapping potentially harmful gases within microscopic organo-metallic structures.
Female hormones increase risk of vision loss in rare genetic disease
Girls with a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in a gene known as Nf1 are much more likely to lose their vision than boys with mutations in the same gene.
Low-carb diets safe in short term, more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets
Mayo Clinic researchers analyzing more than a decade of research found people on low-carb diets lost between 2.5 to 8.8 more pounds than people on low-fat diets.
First detection of boron on the surface of Mars
Boron has been identified for the first time on the surface of Mars, indicating the potential for long-term habitable groundwater in the ancient past.
Mexico's energy reform calls for new water policy
As the Mexican government oversees the implementation of the country's energy reform, it must consider how best to prioritize water use in accordance with the law and allocate supplies thoughtfully, according to a new paper from the Mexico Center at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
UC Davis joins national effort on links between health and exercise
We know that exercise is good for you. But why, and how?
Researchers identify biochemical mechanism behind a rare, painful genetic disease
A team of researchers at the National Institutes of Health has uncovered a possible biochemical mechanism behind a rare, painful genetic disorder called ACDC disease, which causes calcium buildup in the arteries.
Measuring radiation damage on the fly
Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a new way to measure radiation damage in materials, quickly, cheaply and continuously, using transient grating spectroscopy.
Wiley partners with ASBMR on new open-access journal for bone and musculoskeletal research
John Wiley and Sons Inc. and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research announced today plans to launch in 2017 a new international, open access peer-reviewed publication, JBMR Plus.
Study identifies why some people can smell asparagus in urine
In The BMJ's Christmas edition this week, a study identifies the genetic origin of the ability to smell the strong, characteristic odor in human urine produced after eating asparagus.
Health-Care Symposium covers handoffs, device and facility design, EHRs and health apps, and more
The 2.5-day program features more than 180 presentations by health and safety researchers, policy makers, physicians and other health-care providers, medical device designers, health IT professionals, and biomedical engineers.
Complex, interrelated global problems require broader 'connect-the-dots' science approach: UNESCO
The 'business as usual' approach to scientific problem-solving -- characterized too often by narrow, disconnected, uni-dimensional research -- simply isn't up to the vital task of addressing the world's increasingly complex, inter-connected problems.
Scientists examine 'perfect storms' fueling vast tropical biodiversity
Biodiversity on earth is greatest in the tropics with the number and variety of species gradually diminishing toward the poles.
Rural nursing homes are falling behind in health information technology
The 16,000 nursing homes in the United States serve populations of all sizes; yet, according to new research from the University of Missouri, rural communities are lagging in health information technology needed to improve quality, safety and efficiency in health care.
Water: Finding the normal within the weird
Researchers have figured out a way to take snapshots of liquid water freezing within a deeply supercooled range of temperatures.
More parents funding college education contributes to income and wealth gap
More parents today are financially supporting -- and paying more -- for their children's college education, but that development also might be exacerbating economic inequality, according to a new study by a University of Kansas professor.
Risk avoidance in older adults is related to brain anatomy, not age
Older adults are less inclined to take risks, but this behavior may be linked to changes in brain anatomy rather than age, according to a new Yale-led study.
The harmful effects of the aging Asian population on the economy
A study from the University of Kent has found that an increase in Asian elderly population share will significantly lower economic growth due to decreased labor participation in the region.
Graduate School of Excellence MAINZ awards visiting professorships 2016
The Graduate School of Excellence 'Materials Science in Mainz' (MAINZ) has again awarded visiting professorships to two outstanding scientists.
How cytoplasmic DNA undergoes adaptation to avoid harmful mutations
University of Sydney School of Life and Environmental Sciences researchers Joshua Christie and Madeleine Beekman have used computational tools to better understand cytoplasmic DNA adaptation and how they promote beneficial mutations -- and more importantly, avoid harmful mutations which could become like Trojan horses to affect the whole cell, and thereby, the health of an organism.
Study offers approach to treating pain
For many patients with chronic pain, any light touch -- even just their clothes touching their skin -- can be agony.
Brain shrinkage in multiple sclerosis associated with leaked protein in blood
A leak of a protein called hemoglobin from damaged red blood cells may be associated with brain shrinkage in multiple sclerosis.
Newly revealed amino acid function could be used to boost antioxidant levels
A Japanese research team has become the first in the world to discover that 2-aminobutyric acid is closely involved in the metabolic regulation of the antioxidant glutathione, and that it can effectively raise levels of glutathione in the body when ingested.
Magnetic mirror could shed new light on gravitational waves and the early universe
Researchers have created a new magnetic mirror-based device that could one day help cosmologists discover new details about ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves, particularly those emitted when the universe was extremely young.
Oregon researchers find bacterial protein that boosts insulin-producing cells in zebrafish
A newly discovered bacterial protein produced in the zebrafish gut triggers insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas to multiply during early larval development, say University of Oregon researchers.
Lunar sonic booms
University of Iowa physicist Jasper Halekas will discuss new findings about the physics surrounding mini shock waves produced on the moon at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco on Dec.
Laboratory-on-a-chip technique simplifies detection of cancer DNA biomarkers
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, making early, reliable diagnosis and treatment a priority.
Francis Collins receives FASEB Award
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) presents its 2017 Public Service Award to Francis S.
CRI scientists discover new bone-forming growth factor that reverses osteoporosis in mice
A team of scientists at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) discovered a new bone-forming growth factor, Osteolectin (Clec11a), which reverses osteoporosis in mice and has implications for regenerative medicine.
Salmon, blue mussel, eider, and eel die from the same vitamin deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine) in wildlife is previously known as a problem among certain species within relatively limited geographical areas.
Against the tide: A fish adapting quickly to lethal levels of pollution
MIAMI--Evolution is working hard to rescue some urban fish from a lethal, human-altered environment, according to a new study published Dec.
£10 million intelligent health-care technologies research for self-management of chronic conditions
Eight new research projects that will help people self-manage chronic conditions, such as COPD and diabetes, at home while linked to support from carers and clinicians, were announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which is funding the work with a £10 million investment.
From public outreach to peer review, UW-Madison scientists find value in social media
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a survey of 372 scientists engaged in biological or physical science research shows that scientists are increasingly using social media to communicate with nonscientific audiences.
Studies of vulnerable populations get a 'bootstrapped' boost from statisticians
In a paper published online Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Washington researchers report on a statistical approach called 'tree bootstrapping' can help social scientists study hard-to-reach populations like drug users.
NIFA A=announces $5 million in funding for food, energy, and water systems research
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of up to $5 million in funding for research to better understand how food, energy and water systems interact, and how they can be sustained.
Young, thin and hyperactive: That's what outlier galaxies look like
A new theory offers an explanation of outliers galaxies in the Galaxy Main Sequence related to an in situ (internal) process of galaxy evolution.
Image of 'typical' welfare recipient linked with racial stereotypes
When thinking about a welfare recipient, people tend to imagine someone who is African American and who is lazier and less competent than someone who doesn't receive welfare benefits, according to new findings in =Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Cancer genomics continued: Triple negative breast cancer and cancer immunotherapy
Continuing PLOS Medicine's special issue on cancer genomics, Christos Hatzis of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and colleagues describe a new subtype of triple negative breast cancer that may be more amenable to treatment than other cases of this difficult-to-treat disease.
Sleep helps process traumatic experiences
If we sleep in the first 24 hours after a traumatic experience, this may help process and integrate the distressing memories more effectively, as researchers from the University of Zurich and the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich demonstrate in a new study.
Yoga can have social benefits for children in care, says a new study
A new study from the University of Nottingham has found that a certain type of yoga could potentially help to improve the health and psychological wellbeing of children in care.
Workplace fun is fundamental for learning on the job
All work and no play may dull on-the-job learning at workplaces, according to a team of researchers.
Could co-infection with other viruses affect the survival of those with Ebola virus?
Could co-infection with other viruses have a detrimental affect on Ebola survival, and why did some show Ebola symptoms without having the virus?
Can you bounce water balloons off a bed of nails? Yes, says new study
A group of first year students at Roskilde University, supervised by Dr.
Improving school leadership is topic of guide for education officials
Research suggests that school leadership can be a powerful driver of improved educational outcomes, with research suggesting that principals are second only to teachers as the most important school-level determinant of student achievement.
Are we running out of vanilla? (video)
Vanilla is more than a standby ice cream flavor. It's used to flavor approximately 18,000 food products worldwide and in nearly every sweet you can think of.
NIH awards aim to understand molecular changes during physical activity
The National Institutes of Health Common Fund announced today the first awards for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans Program, which will allow researchers to develop a comprehensive map of the molecular changes that occur in response to physical activity.
Mass oyster die-off in San Francisco related to atmospheric rivers
Atmospheric rivers contributed to a mass die-off of wild Olympia oysters in north San Francisco Bay in 2011, according to a study led by UC Davis and the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The study is the first to document biological impacts of atmospheric rivers, which are predicted to increase under future climate change.
Study raises concern of significant under-reporting of child abuse within US Army
Only 20 percent of medically diagnosed child abuse and neglect cases in US Army dependent children had a substantiated report with the Army's Family Advocacy Program, which investigates and treats child abuse.
Switchgrass may be a good option for farmers who have lost fertile topsoil
A study from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has found that switchgrass, which is a perennial plant and used commonly for biofuel, improves soil quality and can be grown on farms that have lost fertile topsoil.
Therapy response in brain tumor cells is linked to disease prognosis
The brain tumor form glioblastoma is difficult to treat and has very poor prognosis.
Study sheds light on the function of the penis bone in male competition
A new UCL study examines how the baculum (penis bone) evolved in mammals and explores its possible function in primates and carnivores -- groups where many species have a baculum, but some do not.
Scientists devise new method to give 'most robust' estimate of Maasai Mara lion numbers
Scientists based at Oxford University have created a new method for counting lions that they say is the most robust yet devised.
Laser R&D focuses on next-gen particle collider
A set of new laser systems and proposed upgrades at Berkeley Lab's BELLA Center will propel long-term plans for a more compact and affordable ultrahigh-energy particle collider.
Garth Powis named as NAI Fellow
Garth Powis, professor and director of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute's (SBP) NCI-designated Cancer Center, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

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