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Science News

Science News

News and discussion about interesting topics from the world of science.
Spidra Webster
Morphological, physicochemical, and antioxidant profile of noncommercial banana cultivars - Anyasi - 2015 - Food Science & Nutrition - Wiley Online Library - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi...
Morphological, physicochemical, and antioxidant profile of noncommercial banana cultivars - Anyasi - 2015 - Food Science & Nutrition - Wiley Online Library
"Banana cultivars––Luvhele (MusaABB), Mabonde (MusaAAA), and Muomva-red (Musa balbisiana) ––were characterized for morphological, physicochemical, and antioxidant properties. All three cultivars varied significantly (P < 0.05) in their morphology, pH, titratable acidity and total soluble solids with no significant difference in their ash content. Individual cultivars showed variations in flour starch granule when observed using a scanning electron microscope. Characterization of cultivars for total polyphenols (TPs) and antioxidant activity upon pretreatment with ascorbic, citric, and lactic acid shows that the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay of samples varied significantly as Muomva-red cultivar (1.02 ± 0.01 mg GA/g) expressed the highest DPPH activity at lactic acid concentration of 20 g/L. Total polyphenol content was also highest for Muomva-red [1091.76 ± 122.81 mg GAE/100 g (d.w.)]. The high amount of TPs present in these cultivars make them suitable source of bio-nutrients with great medicinal and health functions." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
imabonehead
Compound from Chinese medicinal herb shows promise for Ebola | Reuters - http://www.reuters.com/article...
Compound from Chinese medicinal herb shows promise for Ebola | Reuters
"A drug derived from a Chinese medicinal herb is showing promise for combating Ebola infection, effectively imprisoning the virus inside cells so it cannot do its usual damage, scientists said on Thursday. The researchers said the compound, called tetrandrine, blocked infection of human white blood cells in lab dishes and prevented Ebola virus disease in lab mice. More research is needed, including monkey studies, before it can be tested in people, they added." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Lights, camera, action: high-throughput plant phenotyping is ready for a close-up - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...
Lights, camera, action: high-throughput plant phenotyping is ready for a close-up
"Anticipated population growth, shifting demographics, and environmental variability over the next century are expected to threaten global food security. In the face of these challenges, crop yield for food and fuel must be maintained and improved using fewer input resources. In recent years, genetic tools for profiling crop germplasm has benefited from rapid advances in DNA sequencing, and now similar advances are needed to improve the throughput of plant phenotyping. We highlight recent developments in high-throughput plant phenotyping using robotic-assisted imaging platforms and computer vision-assisted analysis tools." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Fascination of Plants Day 2015 | Home - http://www.plantday.org/home...
"The Fascination of Plants Day 2015 official web address (URL) is: http://plantday.org/ The third international "Fascination of Plants Day" 2015 will be launched under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). The goal of this activity is to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture, in sustainability producing food, as well as for horticulture, forestry, and all of the non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals. The role of plants in environmental conservation will also be a key message. Everybody is welcome to join this initiative! We invite you to organize for the 18th of May 2015 a fascinating activity related to plants attracting and interacting with the public. Our goal is to break the record of 1000 events you organized in 2013. May 18th 2015 will be the Fascination of Plants Day itself and most events will be organised for... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
For legume plants, a new route from shoot to root - http://phys.org/news...
For legume plants, a new route from shoot to root
For legume plants, a new route from shoot to root
"A new study shows that legume plants regulate their symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria by using cytokinins—signaling molecules— that are transmitted through the plant structure from leaves into the roots to control the number of bacteria-holding nodules in the roots. This collaborative study was conducted by researchers from the National Institute for Basic Biology, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), and the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan. Legumes, an important plant family which includes lentils, soybeans, and peanuts, have the ability to prosper in nitrogen-poor soil environments thanks to an ingenious adaptation: they develop a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia, allowing the bacteria to infect them within special structures known as nodules that are located along their roots. However, it takes energy to produce and maintain these nodules, hurting the ability of the plant to grow, so legumes... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
"This study, together with previous research results, clearly shows that cytokinins are key signaling molecules in organ-to-organ communication, allowing balanced plant growth and development, and opens the road to identifying the exact cytokinin involved in downward signaling in the Lotus japonicus. According to Hitoshi Sakakibara, who led the RIKEN group participating in the project,... more... - Spidra Webster
imabonehead
Your Eyelashes Should Be This Long, Science Says - Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article...
Your Eyelashes Should Be This Long, Science Says - Scientific American
"Cosmeticians probably won't agree, but scientists say eyelashes have an optimal length: a third of the width of the eye. This ratio helps keep the eyes wet, according to a new study that attempts to answer the question: What are eyelashes for anyway? "They've been hypothesized to act as sun shades, dust catchers and blink-reflex triggers," said David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. "But there's been no really systematic study of what their true benefits are."" - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
A bionic hand in many ways as good as a graft - Business Insider - http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-a-b...
A bionic hand in many ways as good as a graft - Business Insider
"Vienna (AFP) - European surgeons and engineers have devised a mind-controlled bionic hand that restores function almost as well as a flesh-and-blood transplant, but without the risk of rejection, a research paper said Wednesday. The three Austrian beneficiaries of the unprecedented technique had suffered injuries in car and climbing accidents to the "brachial plexus" -- a network of nerves running from the spine to the upper limbs. This type of injury is like a sort of "inner amputation," irreversibly separating the hand from neural signals, said the study published in The Lancet medical journal. The three patients received their futuristic robot appendages in surgeries between April 2011 and May 2014. "For the first time since their accidents all three men were able to accomplish various everyday tasks such as picking up a ball, pouring water from a jug, using a key, cutting food with a knife or using two hands to undo buttons," said a statement from The Lancet. Oskar Aszmann of the... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
پیکولو
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2015 | MIT Technology Review - http://www.technologyreview.com/lists...
Halil
Nobel winners urge European Commission not to cut funds for science - Experts angry as EC boss plans to slash the research and innovation budget by £2bn - http://www.independent.co.uk/news...
Nobel winners urge European Commission not to cut funds for science - Experts angry as EC boss plans to slash the research and innovation budget by £2bn
Dozens of Nobel prize-winners have written to the President of the European Commission urging him to reverse his plan to slash EU spending on research and innovation by €2.7bn (£2bn). - Halil from Bookmarklet
But in a letter seen by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 27 Nobel laureates express their “dismay” at the plan and warn that Europe’s reputation in high-profile research fields would be severely damaged. - Halil
Halil
Scientists announce anti-HIV agent so powerful it can work in a vaccine -- ScienceDaily - http://www.sciencedaily.com/release...
Mark H
Earth does not revolve around the Sun after all. http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Earth does not revolve around the Sun after all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9Jp_XCvVto
Play
I, for one, am very convinced by the arguments put forward by Saudi Preacher Bandar Al-Khaybari. - Mark H
Both the Quran and the little plastic water container seem to support his case. - Eivind
Halil
Researchers from the US and Israel have identified the first-ever example of a creature capable of editing its own genetic makeup in order to blend into its surroundings – the squid. - http://www.redorbit.com/news...
Researchers from the US and Israel have identified the first-ever example of a creature capable of editing its own genetic makeup in order to blend into its surroundings – the squid.
Reporting in a recent edition of the journal eLife, Dr. Eli Eisenberg of the Tel Aviv University Department of Physics and Sagol School of Neuroscience and his colleagues explained that the Doryteuthis pealieii squid can alter most of its own proteins on an as-needed basis. - Halil from Bookmarklet
:o - Halil
I wonder if this will help understand and potentially help create treatment for prion based diseases? - Halil
Huh. That would be pretty amazing - I admit, I find prion diseases to be some of the most frightening. - Jennifer Dittrich
Prions are the stuff of nightmares, they are scary and rightly so! - Halil
ah ha: "This species (ie the squid in this study) is a model organism in neuroscience and was used by Andrew Huxley and Alan Hodgkin in their studies on axons." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki... I've met Andrew Huxley, he was an interesting guy, very nice bloke. - Halil
Spidra Webster
RT@foodimprover Is Cannabis the New Frontier of Therapeutics? | AAAS - The World's Largest General Scientific Society http://www.aaas.org/news...
imabonehead
Oil Eating Microbes Have Worldwide Underground Connections - Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast...
"Living deep underground ain't easy. In addition to hellish temperatures and pressures, there's not a lot to eat. Which is why oil reservoirs are the microbes’ cornucopia in this hidden realm. Microbes feast on many oil reservoirs, but it has been unclear how the micro-organisms got to those locales. One proposal has been that the microbes colonize a pool of dead algae corpses and then go along for the ride as the pool gets buried deeper and deeper and the algae slowly become oil. That’s the so-called "burial and isolation" hypothesis." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
"Researchers surveyed the genetics of oil-eating microbes from around the world. They found that populations from Nevada to the North Sea matched up almost exactly. They also determined that microbes in the North Sea appear to have swapped genes with Japanese microbes despite the locations being more than 8,000 kilometers apart on the Earth’s surface." - imabonehead
Halil
Interstellar technology throws light on spinning black holes -- ScienceDaily - http://www.sciencedaily.com/release...
Interstellar technology throws light on spinning black holes -- ScienceDaily
The team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Christopher Nolan's epic Interstellar have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes. - Halil from Bookmarklet
In a paper published today, 13 February, in IOP Publishing's journal Classical and Quantum Gravity, the team describe the innovative computer code that was used to generate the movie's iconic images of the wormhole, black hole and various celestial objects, and explain how the code has led them to new science discoveries. - Halil
as my friend said, "people say watching TV/films rots the brain" lol - Halil
I was just telling David about this yesterday. Have forwarded the link to him. Thanks! - Marina's Godmother :-)
Spidra Webster
World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations - http://phys.org/news...
World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations
"As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders—workers of less than three to seven acres—with the rest in gene banks, according to a Penn State geographer. Karl Zimmerer, professor of geography and his colleagues in the GeoSyntheSES (Geographic Synthesis for Social-Ecological Sustainability) lab including Steven Vanek, postdoctoral fellow, looked at new census data from 11 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and combined that data with field observations to develop an understanding of who is farming what and exactly where. "These new surveys provide information that is much more detailed than what is available from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization," said Zimmerer. "The sources include information on Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nepal Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Nicaragua, Colombia and Peru, and cover staple food crops like maize, rice, wheat, potatoes and even teff in... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Diet and exercise alone are no cure for obesity, doctors say - LA Times - http://www.latimes.com/science...
Diet and exercise alone are no cure for obesity, doctors say - LA Times
"group of respected physicians has stepped forward to challenge the common assertion that obesity can be easily fixed by diet and exercise. For most of the nation's 79 million adults and 13 million kids who are obese, the "eat less, move more" treatment, as currently practiced, is a prescription for failure, these doctors say. Obese man pleads for medical help Caption Obese man pleads for medical help Obese man pleads for medical help Obese man pleads for medical help Mom shares obese son's cautionary tale Mom shares obese son's cautionary tale Does plus-Size model send healthy message? Does plus-Size model send healthy message? In a commentary published Thursday in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, four weight-loss specialists set out to correct what they view as the widespread misimpression that people who have become and stayed obese for more than a couple of years can, by diet and exercise alone, return to a normal, healthy weight and stay that way. "Once obesity is... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
US faces worst droughts in 1,000 years, predict scientists | Environment | The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/environ...
US faces worst droughts in 1,000 years, predict scientists | Environment | The Guardian
"The US south-west and the Great Plains will face decade-long droughts far worse than any experienced over the last 1,000 years because of climate change, researchers said on Thursday. The coming drought age – caused by higher temperatures under climate change – will make it nearly impossible to carry on with current life-as-normal conditions across a vast swathe of the country. The droughts will be far worse than the one in California – or those seen in ancient times, such as the calamity that led to the decline of the Anasazi civilizations in the 13th century, the researchers said. “The 21st-century projections make the [previous] mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the garden of Eden,” said Jason Smerdon, a co-author and climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Researchers have long known that the south-west and Great Plains will dry out over the second half of the 21st century because of rising temperatures under climate change. But... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
BBC News - Breath test for Parkinson's disease - http://www.bbc.com/news...
BBC News - Breath test for Parkinson's disease
Show all
"The test looks for a unique signature of chemicals in exhaled breath. Small studies in volunteers have begun and early findings suggest the test can identify those with the debilitating brain condition. Larger trials are now planned to see if it could truly be a useful test, particularly for picking up Parkinson's in its earliest stages. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote A breath test would be really appealing because it's non-invasive, non-painful and can be done in seconds” Researcher Dr Simon Stott Currently, no test can conclusively show that a person has Parkinson's. Instead, doctors reach a diagnosis based on a person's symptoms and test results - such as brain scans to rule out other diseases. At this stage, Parkinson's may already be fairly advanced. Identifying it earlier would be beneficial because it would mean treatment could be given sooner. Sniff it out Parkinson's disease is a progressive condition where there is gradual loss of nerve cells from the brain.... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Sweet Science: Chocolate Chemistry for Valentine's Day - YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch...
Sweet Science: Chocolate Chemistry for Valentine's Day - YouTube
Play
"What separates good chocolate from the most exquisite chocolate? Celebrate Valentine’s Day and join Dr. Rich Hartel as he returns to share how tempering, crystallization, and chemistry can make all the difference when selecting your favorite chocolate treat." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
ON THE AIR RIGHT NOW - Spidra Webster
Mark H
Don’t Block the Sun to Cope with Global Warming - http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observa...
Don’t Block the Sun to Cope with Global Warming
"There are two different types of geoengineering [...]: those that block sunlight to counteract global warming, dubbed solar radiation management or albedo modification, and those that remove the molecule behind much of the global warming: CO2. Managing solar radiation has considerable and so far unknown risks. For example, mimicking the cooling effect of volcanoes by spewing sulfuric acid droplets into the stratosphere would be likely to eat away at the ozone layer that protects life on Earth from damaging ultraviolet radiation; it could also lead to more of the air pollution that promotes asthma and early deaths." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"Another sun-blocking concept—using aerosols to make the clouds that form over the ocean whiter in order to reflect more sunlight back to space—would not harm the ozone hole but could prove difficult in practice or impact global rainfall. Whether or not ships are already doing such marine cloud brightening by spewing aerosols from smokestacks as they travel the oceans is unclear, suggesting at best a limited understanding of the atmospheric and cloud physics involved." - Mark H
"Blocking the sun is, at best, a short-term fix that does nothing to remedy the other impacts of rising levels of atmospheric CO2, such as turning ocean waters more acidic or nights that get warmer and warmer under a thickening blanket of greenhouse gases. Once used, it might also prove difficult to stop hazing the skies or brightening clouds since, without removal of the CO2 causing... more... - Mark H
imabonehead
Trying to Be Less Stupid: The Hard Work of Brain Science - http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news...
Trying to Be Less Stupid: The Hard Work of Brain Science
"Michael Gazzaniga was still a graduate student when he helped make one of the most intriguing discoveries of modern neuroscience: that the two hemispheres of the brain not only have different functions, but also operate independently—the so-called split-brain phenomenon." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Bald Eagles Prove Full of Flame Retardants - Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article...
Bald Eagles Prove Full of Flame Retardants - Scientific American
"Michigan’s bald eagles are among the most contaminated birds on the planet when it comes to phased-out flame retardant chemicals in their livers, according to new research. The study, published last month in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, found that the top predators in the Great Lakes are highly exposed to banned flame retardants, still widespread in the environment. Michigan’s population of bald eagles is stable, but the compounds have been linked in other birds to impaired reproduction, weird behavior and development, and hormone disruption. “While the sensitivity of eagles to PBDEs has yet to be determined, there is a possibility that the exposures reported here may be associated with sub-clinical effects,” Nil Basu, an associate professor at McGill University who led study while at the University of Michigan, said in an email. More than four decades ago, companies started putting polybrominated diphenyl ethers, PBDEs, into furniture cushions, electronics and clothing in an... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
The Kennedy-Johnson Climate Legacy | Sen. Ed Markey - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-ed-...
The Kennedy-Johnson Climate Legacy | Sen. Ed Markey
"Fifty years ago today, Lyndon Johnson became the first president to warn about the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In a special message to Congress on this day in 1965, he included the emissions of carbon dioxide -- the main cause of global warming -- in his warning on the impacts of air pollution. Fifty years later, global temperature is increasing. Glaciers around the world are melting. Sea-level is rising. Rainfall and snowfall are more extreme. Heat-waves are hotter. With signs of environmental degradation across America, it was these two presidents from Massachusetts and Texas who started to take action. Just months before his death, reflecting his tradition of looking skyward, President Kennedy proposed the Clean Air Act in February of 1963. In December of that year, it became the second law President Johnson signed as president. The law has been strengthened over the years, resulting in an average drop of more than 70 percent in smog, soot and other pollutants... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
imabonehead
Robot Scientist Discovers Potential Malaria Drug - Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article...
Robot Scientist Discovers Potential Malaria Drug - Scientific American
"While drug companies struggle to develop medicines for rich countries and typically overlook diseases elsewhere, a robot scientist named Eve has found compounds that could fight drug-resistant malaria. Eve’s developers believe their artificial intelligence (AI) technology could speed up drug discovery, as critics call for a “match” with a live chemist." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Halil
Giant rodent the size of a buffalo roamed earth three million years ago - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news...
Giant rodent the size of a buffalo roamed earth three million years ago
Josephoartigasia monesi, which is closely related to modern guinea pigs, is thought to have weighed a metric tonne. Scientists used computer simulation methods to estimate how powerful a bite it had. They came up with a force of around 1,400 Newtons - about the same as that of a tiger's clamping jaws. - Halil from Bookmarklet
I'm glad it is not around anymore! Even the idea gives me shivers down my spine. - grizabella from Android
yeah. Imagine those humongous incisors gnawing your face off. - imabonehead
Didn't orcs used to ride them? - Todd Hoff
Wow, it's 300m long according to one of the illustrations. Makes those 70s beavers seem tiny :) - Eivind
Eivind. - Jenny H. from Android
Yeah, the other image didn't display showing the size comparison, it's huge! - Halil
Yes, boo? :D - Eivind
Spidra Webster
Painkiller discovered in coffee that is stronger than morphine and lasts longer - http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/painkil...
Painkiller discovered in coffee that is stronger than morphine and lasts longer
Painkiller discovered in coffee that is stronger than morphine and lasts longer
"Scientists at the University of Brasilia (UnB) and Brazilian agriculture research company Embrapa have accidentally discovered a new painkiller by accident while researching something completely different. The researchers from the two organisations were collaborating to how to improve the quality of coffee grains by combining coffee genes in new ways. They analysed the coffee's genome sequence and discovered corresponding proteins that shared properties with those in humans. The researchers "identified previously unknown fragments of protein — peptides — in coffee that have an effect similar to morphine, in other words they have an analgesic and sedative activity," Embrapa said. The painkiller was discovered by Felipe Vinecky during research on his doctoral thesis at University of BrasiliaThe painkiller was discovered by Felipe Vinecky during research on his doctoral thesis at the University of BrasiliaClaudio Bezerra The concept of studying the functional internal fragments of... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Halil
Scientists, general public disagree on many key issues - http://www.redorbit.com/news...
Scientists, general public disagree on many key issues
I think this is a result of poor dissemination of scientific facts by the scientists involved, sensationalist reporting by the media and lastly a lack of understanding about the science by the general public! Either way, public distrust of scientists and science is never a good thing! Again I bring up this report about governments undermining scientists which doesn't help! > Paul Nurse accuses politicians of 'cowardice' over scientific evidence http://ff.im/1kPDQ0 - Halil from Bookmarklet
"Only 37 percent of the public believes that it is safe to eat GMO products, which 88 percent of the AAAS scientists polled during the study believe that consuming such products is not harmful to a person’s health." - Kevin Johnson
Spidra Webster
Scientists Dissected the Brains of 79 NFL Players. What They Found Is Disturbing. | Mother Jones - http://www.motherjones.com/media...
Scientists Dissected the Brains of 79 NFL Players. What They Found Is Disturbing. | Mother Jones
"Yesterday, the country's leading investigators of sports-related brain injuries released what could be their most shocking finding yet: Of the 79 deceased NFL players examined, 76 showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The researchers at the Boston University CTE Center have examined, in total, the brains of 128 people who played football at all levels—from high school to the pros—and 101 showed evidence of CTE. The numbers buttress a growing body of evidence that suggests that playing football at any level can lead to grave health consequences. In case you haven't been following the story, here's how CTE works: When the brain is subjected to repeated trauma—from the severe (and rare) concussion-causing hits to the repetitive, smaller impacts a lineman might absorb thousands of times in his career—its tissue starts to deteriorate. That causes the buildup of abnormal tau proteins, which interfere with a whole host of critical brain functions. In the short term,... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Counter programming, Spidra? :) - Stephen Mack from iPhone
Well, it was someone on Twitter and I'm just passing it on. ;-) - Spidra Webster
And let me say that seeing "imabonehead" like this post is priceless. - Spidra Webster
imabonehead
Eye-Tracking Test Enters into the Running for an Alzheimer’s Screen - Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article...
Eye-Tracking Test Enters into the Running for an Alzheimer’s Screen - Scientific American
"One in nine Americans aged 65 and older has Alzheimer's disease, a fatal brain disorder with no cure or effective treatment. Therapy could come in the form of new drugs, but some experts suspect drug trials have failed so far because compounds were tested too late in the disease's progression. By the time people show signs of dementia, their brains have lost neurons. No therapy can revive dead cells, and little can be done to create new ones." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
"Today most Alzheimer's patients are diagnosed after a detailed medical workup and extensive tests that gauge mental function. Other tests, such as spinal fluid analyses and positron-emission tomography (PET) scans, can detect signs of approaching disease and help pinpoint the preclinical window but are cumbersome or expensive. “There's no cheap, fast, noninvasive test that can identify... more... - imabonehead
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