22 March, 2017 – Episode 611 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

March 23rd, 2017

Spanish Cannibals, Venom For Stroke, Spiders Got Personality!, Self-Sustaining Cell, Lab Animal Handling, Happy Lab Rats, Contagious Laughter, See Through Silver, Arctic Depletion, Bad For Bees?, Finding Dormant HIV, Blueberry Vigor?, Tardigrade Survival, Martian Ring Toss, And Much More…

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Global warming research is facing obstacles…
Not in data collection or analysis…
Not in consensus or modeling…
And unfortunately not obstacles to actual warming of the planet…
But obstacles of opinion and willful opposition to science…
Rarely in recent history has the scientific community been so vigorously opposed
Yes, there was that dust up over evolution…
And, there may be some who still believe that cigarettes don’t cause cancer…
And, no matter how hard the teachers try,
some folks will continue to think that physics is just too un-intuitive to be true…
Despite the modern society in which they live being dependent upon the understanding of such things…
And this is the challenge…
What can we do to take the body of knowledge that science has compiled…
The obstacles we have overcome in the past…
And communicate to the world that is living within its solutions…
If we blind ourselves to the obstacles of today…
If we abandon solutions for a better future…
How many brighter futures will we fail to realize…
If we turn our backs on
This Week In Science
Coming Up Next…

Spanish Cannibals
If you find human bone remnants in human excrement, there was some cannibalism going on. And, that’s what has been discovered in a Spanish cave dating back to about 10,000 years ago. Cannibalism isn’t unheard of in humans, so the question here is what drove the people to eat each other: hunger or ritual?

Venom For Stroke
Venom from a highly venomous Australian spider might lead to a new and better treatment for brain damage caused by stroke.

“>Self-sustaining bacteria-fueled power cell
More powerful than previous bacterial batteries, this little cell that could has the potential to power many and varied devices… if we can get the bacteria to live together peacefully forever.

How we handle lab animals makes all the difference
What?! Living things respond differently to stimuli, and previous experiences influence data?? The devil you say!!

A happy lab rat is a good lab rat
But how do we know if they are happy? Look at the ears!

Laughter is contagious
Even for parrots! But what does that mean for science? Actually, quite a lot…

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See Through Silver…
Don’t go looking for invisible coins, this new formulation of silver that might first take shape as a coating for touchscreens has the potential to impact technology at multiple levels and lead to advancement in all sorts of places.

Arctic Depletion
It’s at least half the fault of humanity that sea ice is waning in the Arctic, according to a new study.

Sea ice down globally!

Budget Worries
The proposed budget from the Trump administration cuts a lot of science funds, but Congress makes the final appropriations. Should we worry?

Almonds are bad for bees…
Well, at least the fungicides that are being used by many almond growers.

Finding Dormant HIV
Recent work has identified a protein marker produced by dormand HIV infected cells called CD32a, which could potentially be used to target latent HIV in infected people.

Blueberry Vigor
A special cocktail of blueberry juice and other hormone altering nutirients might have had an effect on post-partum blues, but we don’t know because the study was small and not properly controlled.

No Supplements For Old Men
A study looking at Vitamin E and Selenium supplements did not find any effect of these antioxidants on dementia incidence.

Martian Ring Toss
It could be that Mars once had rings, and will again.

Tardigrades make their own proteins
This may have something to do with why they are nearly invincible – and adds to my theory that perhaps they are aliens…

In honour of Sir David Attenborough
An animal gets a name.

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15 March, 2017 – Episode 610 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

March 17th, 2017

50 Years A Model, Healthcare Science, CRISPR Update, Bad Stem Cell, Penguin Parenting, Lazy Ant Ethics, Food Say What?, Debunking The Old, Invasive American Icon, Airport Brain Scans?, Itchy Scratchy, Mars Potatoes, Spider Love, And Much More…
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The wow factor…
That thing at the end of a good sales pitch,
That makes you go:
“Yeah that’s cool… but I still don’t really need one of those.”
The wow factor is what every advertiser wants to get you excited
And movie makers want it too,
Giant space ships that take forever to clear the frame,
A herd of dinosaurs animated back to life,
A car chase involving very expensive vehicles
Or a car chase made up of dinosaurs in space ships
being pursued by advertising executives going wow wow wow…
But there is another wow factor out there…
It comes when we tune our brains to discoveries in science…
When learning something new…
When learning what we didn’t think could be true…
Or when learning about the sort of thing we wish just wasn’t true…
The wow factors in science aren’t just in the text books…
They’re arriving daily,
and being reported weekly right here on
This Week In Science.
Coming Up Next…

50 Years A Model
The first climate model paper turns 50 this year, and it predicted our current climate fairly well.

Healthcare Science
A study of people suffering from cystic fibrosis found that those in Canada live a decade longer on average than patients in the United States.

Human embryo editing by Chinese scientists kinda worked, and kinda didn’t.

Bad stem cell trial goes badly
People are blind because of an unregulated stem cell trial at a clinic in Florida.

Penguin parents have difficulty cutting the cord, too.
In times of plenty, penguin parents will continue to feed their adult offspring, proving yet again that many of our bad habits have roots in nature…

Yet another apologetic study explaining away laziness
This time, we learn that ants have “varying stimulous rates,” which means different points at which they are inspired into action. This means the whole colony does not get tired at the same time. Sure, I guess that makes sense, but that is NO EXCUSE FOR YOU TO SIT THERE KNITTING KAREN! GET TO WORK!!

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No Fat, No Sugar, No Good…
Don’t listen to the marketing words on your food’s packaging.

Debunking The Old
A new study looking at dendrites in the brain find that they are much more active, and in a more complex way than previously thought.

Researchers investigating the mechanism of anesthesia have upended the old idea that drugs primarily interact with the lipid membrane of cells with a new study that concludes anesthetics engage receptors on the membrane surface.

Invasive American Icon…
When and how did the Bison get here?

Airport Brain Scans?
A group of lawyers and neuroscientists did a study… and found the brain activity of people changes when they know they are engaged in an illicit activty.

Itchy Scratchy
Scientists have started unpacking the neural mechanisms underpinning contagious scratching.

Mars Potatoes
They aren’t on Mars yet, but scientists at the International Potato Center and NASA teamed up to build a CubeSAT containment unit to grow the terrific tubers in soil at a temperature, pressure, and daylight cycle similar to that on Mars. The spuds are doing great. Next step… SPAAAACE!

Save a spider, cause we owe them.
In honor of save a spider day, we learn that spiders eat as much biomass (in the form of bugs) as whales in our oceans. Now think of a world without spiders… ewwwww…..

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08 March, 2017 – Episode 609 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

March 10th, 2017

Women In Science, What They Ate, Troubling Sinks, Molecular Leaf, Panda’s Technicolor Dreamcoat, Elephants Get Fitbit, Eyes Came First, DNA Storage, Time Crystals, Boney Appetite, Spider Nightmare Juice, Sex Talk, Ladies In Space, And Much More…

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The following hour of programming would not be possible without women…
Not only is it created, owned, produced and managed by a woman…
But two of the three hosts are women!
And the one male host on the show was raised by, you guessed it…
a woman…
More than one in fact…
And while women are being recognized for all the wonderful things they do this women’s day…
I’d like to take a quick moment to speak on behalf of all men…
We get it…
some of us are the worst people ever…
And those of us that intend to get it right,
often don’t…
But please don’t give up on us…
We don’t always understand.
We don’t always make the effort to understand.
But don’t give up.
Don’t give up, and please don’t be patient either…
Patience was tried valiantly in the past,
it doesn’t work.
Your patience is always viewed by us as acceptance.
Do not accept the status quo,
do not suffer fools,
And make all mankind better by being heard
Right here on…
This Week in Science
Coming Up Next…

Women In Science
Women are making strides in the sciences around the globe, bringing parity to what has historically been disparate gender representation.

What They Ate
Neandertals ate food that corresponded with where they lived according to a study on dental plaques published by Australian paleontologist, Laura Weyrich.

Troubling Sinks
What goes down can come back up concludes a study of bacterial growth in sink P-traps by a team led by Amy Mathers, a molecular epidemiologist at the University of Virginia.

Molecular Leaf
A new material can convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide just using the power of light.

Why is the panda black and white?
Because it is bad at being a bear.

Using fitbits to track elephants and learn about sleep
Elephants only sleep for 2-4 hours a night, and not very deep. Perhaps this stufy will illuminate why we sleep and how to improve our quality of sleep! But hopefully it won’t be too bright, I’m trying to catch some z’s…

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Heading out to see
Massive Increase in Visual Range Preceded the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates.

DNA Storage
Researchers just developed a method to store information in DNA that closes in on its theoretical maximum by using an error correcting encoding algorithm usually used for noisy data communications systems.

Time Crystals
The name doesn’t just sound cool. This new phase of matter breaks time symmetry. No one has ever done that before.

Boney Appetite
Your bones help regulate your appetite, according to recent research published in Nature by Stavroula Kousteni and her colleagues.

Spiders who live together, are terrifying together
Spiders band together to withstand heavy rainfall and predation pressures in the rainforest.

Let’s Talk About Sex
Americans are having less of it! We can thank Jean Twenge for a new analysis of sex trends in the US that makes life seem less fun.

Ladies In Aerospace!!!
A fellowship in the name of Brooke Owens has named its first class of 36 women who will spend the summer gaining valuable experience at various organizations in the aerospace industry.

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01 March, 2017 – Episode 608 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

March 3rd, 2017

Interview re: March Mammal Madness with Dr. Katie Hinde, Reproduction Interruption, Gene Drive Resistance, One Neuron Rules, Oldest Life Evidence, The Anthropocene Epoch, Plastic Bee Nests, Bees Play Ball, Whoopsie Bee!, And Much More…

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I’m here tonight to tell you what we are doing.
I’m here tonight to tell you why we are here
I’m here tonight to tell you how it all works.
and i”m here tonight to tell you, that we are in this together.

Because when we show each other compassion,
when we teach each other how to see things from another perspective,
when we learn how to reason and examine evidence,
we are able to work together as a community.

So yes, we are here tonight to discuss science news.
And we are here tonight to have fun, and teach.
But most of all we are here to remind you that none of us is alone.

Because we will fight for what’s right,
and we will preserve what needs saving
and we will continue to learn, and discover, and explore.

We are humans, we are glorious thinking, feeling balls of cells. And we will get through this world together. So let’s learn what is new on that world we call home…

On This Week in Science!
Coming up next…

Interview with Katie Hinde about March Mammal Madness. Dr. Hinde is an Associate Professor at the Arizona State University Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics and in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. She studies mammalian milk and lactation, and started the annual March Mammal Madness tournament. You can access tournament and research materials through the Arizona State University library portal.

Which mammal will win??? Which mammal are you rooting for???

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Wolbachia Bacteria And Reproduction
Scientists have homed in on two genes responsible for an effect called Cytoplasmic Incompatibility caused by Wolbachia bacterial infection of insects that leads to sterility during mating if both the male and female aren’t infected. Understanding the mechanism and genes responsible could lead us to a solution for mosquito-borne disease.

Gene Drive Resistance
Along those lines, researchers analyzed the possibility that resistance to CRISPR/CAS9 inserted genes could naturally develop in populations, and found that, yes, indeed, mutations naturally occur over generations that reduce gene drive effects on genetically modified populations.

One Neuron To Rule
Like a “crown of thorns”, researchers looking for neurons to explain consciousness have discovered a neuron in mouse brains that extends from the claustrum around the entire brain.

Worlds Oldest Fossil
Could life really have started 4.2 BILLION years ago? New micro-fossil evidence suggests that it might have happened.

Anthropocene Epoch
Humans influence the world. From climate change to animal extinctions, we know that humanity impacts our planet. But, an analysis of mineral deposits around the globe concludes that we are also making planet Earth rock.

Plastics in bee nests… It’s a good thing?!
Bees have found a way to make man-made materials work in their favor, and have started incorporating them into their nests. Here’s hoping bees pull through!

Bees learn how to play ball
Despite having puny insect brains, bees are able to learn new tasks with non-natural elements to exhibit behaviors not observed in the wild to obtain a food reward. Bees are smart!

That buzzing isn’t a complex signal, it’s just a “whoops!” of surprise! HOW ADORABLE.

Frogs see color in the dark!
Way to rub it in, frogs…

Tag You’re Dead
Tags on animals affect their survival.

To The Moon!
SpaceX has big plans to take two tourists around the moon by 2018.

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22 February, 2017 – Episode 607 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 24th, 2017

Interview w/ Dr. Greg Cunningham RE: Olfaction in Penguins, The TRAPPIST-1 System, Left Vs Right, Cute Lemur Faces, Mosquito ID Tech, Guts Need Nerves, Hair Cell Breakthrough!, Ancient Cave Bacteria!, Cat Apologies, And Much More…

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Just this week, in a solar system not so far away
As far far as other solar systems go…
7 planets,
rocky in nature and
all within the zone of habitability
Sparked the imagination of NASA.
Imagine a solar system so tightly wound
that from the surface of any planet
You can see the others with the naked eye…
So close that if it were ours,
we could colonize them all…
As they may all be wet with water…
Yes, an astronomer’s wet dream,
an unconstrained cornucopia of science fiction scenarios.
And what better way to begin the day than with the knowledge that
There are 7 more planets in our galaxy that may hold the potential for life to flourish.
But before you pack your bags and hitch your wagon to this star
There are a few things you ought to be prepared for upon arrival.
All this and more, on This Week in Science…
Coming Up Next.

Interview w/ Dr. Greg Cunningham about olfaction in penguins.
Dr. Cunningham is an Associate professor at St. Johns Fisher College where he studies behavior, ecology, and physiology of birds. Much of his research has focused on how and what birds smell, specifically Antarctic sea birds who have to locate food over vast stretches of open ocean. In 2015, he went to live with King penguins for a month, and joined TWIS this week to tell us a bit about what he found out while he was there.

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The TRAPPIST-1 System
Looks like we might have new neighbors with NASA’s announcement of seven earth-like planets orbiting the system’s red dwarf star.

Left vs. Right… which is more creative?
You don’t have to choose because the answer is both!

Identifying cute lemurs for their own good!
Facial recognition technology helps idenitfy individual lemurs within the rainforest to better protect the species. Neat!

Killing bad mosquitoes: no, they’re not all bad!
New technology helps kill bad mosquitoes and save good ones. Yes, some are good, remember??

Hair Cell Breakthrough!
Stem cell researchers have succeeded in developing a small-molecule drug cocktail that expands the population of hair cell progenitor cells in the inner ear. This suggests that repairing hair cell related hearing loss could be treated as easily as we treat ear infections one day.

Guts Need Nerves
A study published in PLoS Biology this week found that the enteric nervous system is important for the proper management of microbial gut populations.

Ancient Cave Bacteria!
They could be tens of thousands of years old, and were found in stasis, like Superman, which has implications for the idea of panspermia.

Cats need your apology right meow.
Cat ownership is not linked to any mental illness, though you should still use caution when handing kitty litter.

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15 February, 2017 – Episode 606 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 16th, 2017

Guiding Human Editing, CRISPR Patent Ruling, Real Live Malaria, Terrible Headed Lizard, Fly Wing Semaphore, Tough Kids Rule, Monkey In Mirror, Video Game Chemistry, Five Day Fast, Stress Is Good, Low Crime Immigrants, Ant Butt Beetles, And Much More…

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It’s time to wake up…
There’s a whole big wide world out there just waiting to be explored…
And you can’t get there while your brain is napping
Sleep has benefits,
But snoring is too boring
When there is still have so much to learn…
And the world you know is the world you live in…
Your wide open spaces,
your mountains and valleys,
your oceans and seven seas,
your horizons,
and your solar system,
galaxy and universe beyond…
All are limited or expanded by what you learn…
Your education means your world to you…
It is as much the ground upon which you stand
As the Earth beneath your feet
And we want to be your neighbor
Here on This week in science…
Coming up Next…

Guiding Human Editing
The National Academy of Sciences and The National Academy of Medicine have issued a report with guidelines for the future of human genome editing, and they basically say “go for it… within reason”.

CRISPR Patent Ruling
The victor in this round of the patent battle for CRISPR supremacy between UC Berkeley and MIT’s Broad Institute is… the Broad Institute.

Real Live Malaria
The newest malaria vaccine on the block is just malaria.

Terrible Headed Lizard
This ling-necked lizard was discovered with an embryo in its abdomen.

A tough childhood gives you that smoulder
That slow burn, to make you live longer. But, it doesn’t necessarily increase your fitness…

When the sun hits your wings just right, you know you’ve got it going on…
If you’re a fly, that is. Female flies convey all sorts of information to potential mates with a quick flutter of wings in the sunlight.

Once again, we underestimate animal intelligence because we design tests for humans.
It turns out monkeys may have a lot more self-awareness than we thought, the problem before being that we didn’t train monkeys how mirrors work…

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Better Chemistry through playing video games…
Check out the Minecraft based chemistry world of Polycraft!

Five Day Fast
A study out of the University of Southern California shows that mimicking-fasting for five days a month can dramatically improve health markers that influence longevity.

Stress Is Good
Maybe a sauna a week is good for you! Worms exposed to heat stress increased cellular autophagy, which cleans up aggregating proteins, and influenced lifespan.

Immigrants bring crime…
rates down.

Ant Butt Beetles
A newly described and named species of beetle hitches a ride on Army ant abdomens, and possibly pretends to be their butt.

French Initiative
French people cross against red lights more often than people in Japan.

Algae Survive Space
A species of hardy Norweigian algae survived 530 days on the outside of the ISS only to return home and start reproducing as if they had never left Earth.

Dad’s Diet Endures
What fruit fly dad’s eat influences sperm competition in their sons.

The media is controlling what we know about conservation.
But is it based on ratings? On celebrity endorsements? On legal stance? What can we do to stay properly informed?

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08 February, 2017 – Episode 605 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 10th, 2017

USDA Problems, Fukushima Don’t Worry, Another Zika Vaccine, Childhood Memes, Climate Science Sex, Sea Lamprey Sex, Empathetic Dogs, Monkey Contraception?, Jekyll Hyde Head, Carnivorous Plant Genes, And Much More…

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Despite everything you may have heard…
Global warming is a hoax…
A vast left wing communist conspiracy to defraud major energy companies…
And to slow down the American economic system to give unfair advantages to China…
In alt-fact, the climate is cooling considerably right now over the northern hemisphere…
Ice caps are growing…
Coral reefs are rebounding…
Rain-forests are resplendent…
Major flooding is at an all time low…
Weird weather is nothing new…
And not only are extinctions a thing of the past…
New species are showing up all the time!
Why, things are looking so good for the environment these days,
serious consideration should be given to reducing public lands
before nature encroaches any further on what precious little developed land we have left…
And while all this good news in jest will likely be reported with sinister like sincerity by the EPA soon…
Science will continue to march…
On this week in Science…
Coming Up Next

USDA Problems
Last Friday the USDA removed animal welfare records from its website. Resulting outcry from individuals and organizations interested in animal welfare led the USDA to respond.

Fukushima Don’t Worry
It’s bad, but not suddenly worse than it has been.

Another Zika Vaccine
This vaccine is made from RNA, and worked in mice and monkeys.

Childhood Memes
Personality traits might be contagious among children.

Climate scientists should think more about sex.
Less than 4% of climate change research has invoved how variables affect sex and gender differences. As the basis of life, it may be worth looking at…

I’ll have what that sea lamprey is having!
Female lampreys “fake it” when they have a choice in who will fertilize their eggs – is it to spare their feelings?

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Empathetic Dogs
Dogs are just dogs.

Monkey Contraception?
How to stop monkeys from monkeying around? You don’t, but you can stop their sperm from playing the game.

Jekyll and Hyde are both in your head!
Astrocytes, a kind of glial cell, are both good and bad for neurons.

Carnivorous Plant Genes
Turns out carnivorous plants around the world have evolved separately, but adapted the same genes to the purpose of digestion.

Astronaut Health
NASA has released preliminary data bout how being in space affects astronaut health.

Fact: birds love peppermint
…when they have learned to associate it with food…

Longest freshwater swim… ever…
The dorado catfish swims over 7,000 miles to find a good spot to have its babies. How many dams could there be in their way??

Google Brain Zoom
Google Brain software uses two neural networks to artificially let you zoom into an image and enhance what ever is there. Our movie dreams have come true!

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01 February, 2017 – Episode 604 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 3rd, 2017

Human-Pig Chimeras!, The Science Curious, Just Peoples, Pom Pom Crabs, Zombie Hamsters, Vanishing Peoples, Insect Love Hormone, Really Old Cow, Artificial Communication, Splendid Seeing Spiders, Bat-Bot, And Much More…

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As we watch government leadership roles be replaced by new individuals
We must keep certain things in mind…
Knowledge in medicine,
Cannot be replaced with a spoonful of sugar
Without expecting a different result.
Just as…
An antidote for a poisonous snake bite
Cannot be successfully substituted with a snarky anecdote.
And, as everyone listening already knows…
You can’t substitute science with
Anything that isn’t science…
And that’s why, no matter the politics of the day
We won’t substitute the contents of this show with anything else…
We will always bring you…
This week In Science
Coming up next…

Human-Pig Chimeras!
They are finally here! Kind of…

The Science Curious
Kudos to all who enjoy TWIS! For you are the science curious. Turns out science curiosity can beat out partisan thinking.

Ancient peoples, modern peoples…
just peoples.

Pom pom crabs! Need I say more??
They steal their anemones from one another, and then unceremoniously rip them in half to make perfect, matching, cloned pom poms. They take the cheerleading captainship a bit too seriously i think…

Zombie hamsters
Cannibalizing terrifying hamsters a result of too much corn in their diet, and consequently not enough vitamin B… Guess I better put down these chiaaaaps…..

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Vanishing Peoples
Was it climate change that led them away, and how does it apply to today?

Insect Love Hormone
By adding a chemical modification, Viennese scientists are hoping an insect love hormone will prevent premature births in humans.

Really Old Cow
Old art found in a cave.

Artificial Communication
A new study has created artificial cells that are capable of chemically communicating with bacteria.

Jumping spiders…
and their fabulous color vision that is better than Blair’s.

Bat Bot!
The newest bot to hit the scene is taking to the skies and flying like a bat!

Science March
April 22nd in a city near you…

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