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J, Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Relationship between the Use of Parabens and Allergic Diseases in Japanese Adults—A Cross-Sectional Study
J 2018, 1(1), 148-158; https://doi.org/10.3390/j1010014
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 4 November 2018
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Abstract
It currently remains unclear whether parabens, which are preservatives added to cosmetics, shampoos, and personal care products that exhibit biocidal activities, exert allergic effects in adults. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between the use of parabens and
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It currently remains unclear whether parabens, which are preservatives added to cosmetics, shampoos, and personal care products that exhibit biocidal activities, exert allergic effects in adults. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between the use of parabens and the prevalence of allergic diseases in Japanese adults. This population-based cross-sectional study comprised 2005 participants aged 40 years or older living in Shika Town in Japan who answered a self-administered questionnaire on allergic diseases and the daily use of household goods. The information obtained was then analyzed to assess the exposure to parabens (response rate: 77.9%). The prevalence of nasal allergies, atopic conjunctivitis, and total allergies was significantly higher in women who used parabens. These differences remained significant after adjustments for confounding factors including age, body mass index, smoking, alcohol, exercise, sleep, income, education, and marital status. No relationship between the prevalence of atopic dermatitis and the use of parabens was observed in men or women. However, the present results demonstrated that the prevalence of nasal allergies and atopic conjunctivitis was associated with use of parabens in women, suggesting that parabens may induce allergic responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for J-Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal)
Open AccessArticle Study of the Influence of Different Yeast Strains on Red Wine Fermentation with NIR Spectroscopy and Principal Component Analysis
J 2018, 1(1), 133-147; https://doi.org/10.3390/j1010013
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 27 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract
Alcoholic fermentation is a key step in wine production. Indeed, a wide range of compounds, which strongly affect the sensory properties of wine, is produced during this process. While Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cultures are commonly employed in winemaking to carry on the fermentation
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Alcoholic fermentation is a key step in wine production. Indeed, a wide range of compounds, which strongly affect the sensory properties of wine, is produced during this process. While Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cultures are commonly employed in winemaking to carry on the fermentation process, some non-Saccharomyces species have recently gained attention due to their ability to produce various metabolites of oenological interest. The use of different yeasts strains usually results in wines with different sensory properties, despite being obtained from the same grape variety. In this paper, we tested the feasibility of using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) to discriminate among red wines from three different grape varieties produced with pure S. cerevisiae or by mixed fermentation with a promising non-Saccharomyces yeast, namely the Starmeriella bacillaris, which usually yields wines with significant amounts of glycerol and low levels of ethanol, acetic acid, and acetaldehyde. A principal component analysis (PCA) performed on the NIR spectra was used to search for differences in the samples. The NIR results have been compared with both basic wine parameters and sensory analysis data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for J-Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal)
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Open AccessArticle First Assessment of the Thryssa vitrirostris (Engraulidae) Beach Seine Fishery in Northeastern Mozambique
J 2018, 1(1), 116-132; https://doi.org/10.3390/j1010012
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Monthly length-frequency data, from 2009 to 2014, was used to estimate the growth parameters, mortality, and spawning season, and to assess the exploitation status of Thryssa vitrirostris (Engraulidae) fisheries in Pebane. The von Bertalanffy asymptotic length (L) and growth rate (K)
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Monthly length-frequency data, from 2009 to 2014, was used to estimate the growth parameters, mortality, and spawning season, and to assess the exploitation status of Thryssa vitrirostris (Engraulidae) fisheries in Pebane. The von Bertalanffy asymptotic length (L) and growth rate (K) were 25.1 cm (standard length) and 0.41 per year (standard length), respectively. Two proxy recruitment peaks were found: the first peak of recruitment occurs from April to July, and the second recruitment peak from September to October. The total estimated mortality rates (Z), natural mortality (M), and fishing mortality (F) were Z = 1.31, M = 0.92, and F = 0.39. For the beach seine gear, the size at first catch of T. vitrirostris was Lc25 = 4.43 cm. The 50% retention size of the catch was Lc50 = 5.39 cm. The retention probability analyses revealed a large rate of juvenile fishing mortality (54.2%). The estimated exploitation rate (0.30) was below the maximum exploitation rate (0.48), and above the optimal sustainable exploitation rate (E50 = 0.28), evidencing a sustainable fishery. However, under such an exploitation regime, it is advised that a continuously monitoring-survey of T. vitrirostris is maintained. An increase in migration of fishermen has been recently recorded in Pebane, due to its rich fisheries, which can increase the fishing effort and the risk of overexploitation if management measures (such as mesh size increase) are not taken in advance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for J-Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal)
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Open AccessCommunication Receptor Regulation in Taste: Can Diet Influence How We Perceive Foods?
J 2018, 1(1), 106-115; https://doi.org/10.3390/j1010011
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 14 October 2018
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Abstract
Taste buds are the dedicated sensory end organs of taste, comprising a complex and evolving profile of signaling elements. The sensation and ultimate perception of taste depends on the expression of a diverse array of receptors and channels that sense their respective tastes.
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Taste buds are the dedicated sensory end organs of taste, comprising a complex and evolving profile of signaling elements. The sensation and ultimate perception of taste depends on the expression of a diverse array of receptors and channels that sense their respective tastes. Receptor regulation is a recognized and well-studied phenomenon in many systems, observed in opioid addiction, insulin resistance and caffeine tolerance. Results from human sensory studies suggest that receptor sensitivity or expression level may decrease after chronic exposure to respective tastants through diet. We review data supporting the theory that taste receptors may become downregulated with exposure to a specific tastant, along with presenting data from a small pilot study, showing the impact of long-term tastant exposure on taste receptor expression in mice. Mice treated with monosodium salt monohydrate (MSG), saccharin and NaCl (typically appetitive tastes) all displayed a significant decrease in mRNA expression for respective umami, sweet and salty receptors/sensory channels. Reduced sensitivity to appetitive tastes may promote overconsumption of foods high in such stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for J-Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal)
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Open AccessReview Emerging Roles of Cardiotrophin-1 in the Pathogenesis and Biomarker of Atherosclerosis
J 2018, 1(1), 94-105; https://doi.org/10.3390/j1010010
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
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Abstract
Cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1), an interleukin-6 family cytokine, is known as an active inducer capable of cardiac hypertrophy and vascular stiffness in hypertensive heart disease. CT-1 is expressed at high levels in the heart, vascular endothelial cells (ECs), and adipocytes. CT-1 stimulates inflammatory and proatherogenic
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Cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1), an interleukin-6 family cytokine, is known as an active inducer capable of cardiac hypertrophy and vascular stiffness in hypertensive heart disease. CT-1 is expressed at high levels in the heart, vascular endothelial cells (ECs), and adipocytes. CT-1 stimulates inflammatory and proatherogenic molecule expression in human monocytes and ECs, as well as monocyte-EC adhesion. CT-1 enhances oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced foam-cell formation in human monocyte-derived macrophages. CT-1 stimulates the migration, proliferation, and colloagen-1 production in human vascular smooth muscle cells. Chronic CT-1 infusion into Apoe−/− mice accelerates the development of aortic atherosclerotic lesions. CT-1 is expressed at high levels in ECs and macrophage foam cells within atheromatous plaques in Apoe−/− mice. A blockade of CT-1 using anti-CT-1 neutralizing antibody results in the prevention of atherogenesis in Apoe−/− mice. Plasma CT-1 concentrations are elevated in patients with hypertensive heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and metabolic syndrome, and are positively associated with the severity of cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, and atherosclerosis. Increased plasma concentration of CT-1 is a predictor of death and heart failure following acute myocardial infarction. Therefore, CT-1 serves a novel therapeutic target for atherosclerosis and related diseases. Plasma CT-1 may be a reliable biomarker for atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atherosclerosis: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Advances)
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Open AccessArticle History of Non-Fatal Physical Assault Is Associated with Premature Mortality for Whites but Not Blacks
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
Exposure to trauma increases the long-term risk of mortality, and experiencing non-fatal physical assault is not an exception. To better understand population heterogeneity in this link, the current study explored Black–White differences in the association between history of non-fatal physical assault and risk
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Exposure to trauma increases the long-term risk of mortality, and experiencing non-fatal physical assault is not an exception. To better understand population heterogeneity in this link, the current study explored Black–White differences in the association between history of non-fatal physical assault and risk of all-cause mortality over a 25-year period in the United States. Data came from the Americans’ Changing Lives (ACL) study that followed 3617 non-institutionalized respondents for up to 25 years. History of non-fatal physical assault at baseline was the predictor. Outcome was time to death due to all-cause mortality during follow-up from baseline (1986) to follow-up (2011). Confounders included gender, age, and baseline socio-economic status (education and income), health behaviors (smoking and drinking), and health status (chronic medical conditions, self-rated health, and body mass index). Race was the moderator. Cox regressions were used for multi-variable analysis. History of non-fatal physical assault at baseline was associated with an increased risk of mortality, above and beyond baseline socioeconomic status, health behaviors, and health status. Race interacted with history of non-fatal physical assault on mortality, suggesting a stronger effect for Whites compared to Blacks. In race-specific models, history of non-fatal physical assault was associated with risk of mortality for Whites but not Blacks. The current study showed that experiencing non-fatal physical assault increases the risk of premature death above and beyond demographics, socioeconomic status, health behaviors, and health status. Experiencing non-fatal physical assault may have a larger effect on premature mortality among Whites than Blacks. Future research is needed on how Blacks and Whites differ in the health consequences of social adversities. Full article
Open AccessReview Gamification Concepts to Promote and Maintain Therapy Adherence in Children with Growth Hormone Deficiency
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
Growth hormone (GH) deficiency affects up to one in 4000 children and is usually treated with daily injections of GH whilst the child is still growing. With children typically diagnosed at around five years old, this can mean over 10 years of therapy,
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Growth hormone (GH) deficiency affects up to one in 4000 children and is usually treated with daily injections of GH whilst the child is still growing. With children typically diagnosed at around five years old, this can mean over 10 years of therapy, which can place a considerable burden on the child and the parent. Over three-quarters of children are estimated to be not fully compliant with therapy, which can compromise their chances of attaining their target height. In recent years, interactive mobile health (smart phone or tablet) interventions using game-like concepts, so called ‘gamification’, have increased in popularity and have demonstrated success in promoting positive self-management behaviour in children with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. The application of gamified interventions has the potential to support adherence to therapy and positive behaviour in children with GH deficiency in a number of ways: (1) By providing education in a format that the child understands and accepts (e.g., using behavioural constructs to facilitate explaining why adherence is important); (2) By providing a mechanism to reduce the anxiety and stress associated with administering the injection (e.g., diversion with a virtual pet); and (3) By providing feedback to encourage ongoing engagement (e.g., rewards, progression through levels). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for J-Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal)
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Open AccessArticle Pathway Analysis of a Transcriptome and Metabolite Profile to Elucidate a Compensatory Mechanism for Taurine Deficiency in the Heart of Taurine Transporter Knockout Mice
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Taurine, which is abundant in mammalian tissues, especially in the heart, is essential for cellular osmoregulation. We previously reported that taurine deficiency leads to changes in the levels of several metabolites, suggesting that alterations in those metabolites might compensate in part for tissue
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Taurine, which is abundant in mammalian tissues, especially in the heart, is essential for cellular osmoregulation. We previously reported that taurine deficiency leads to changes in the levels of several metabolites, suggesting that alterations in those metabolites might compensate in part for tissue taurine loss, a process that would be important in maintaining cardiac homeostasis. In this study, we investigated the molecular basis for changes in the metabolite profile of a taurine-deficient heart using pathway analysis based on the transcriptome and metabolome profile in the hearts of taurine transporter knockout mice (TauTKO mice), which have been reported by us. First, the genes associated with transport activity, such as the solute carrier (SLC) family, are increased in TauTKO mice, while the established transporters for metabolites that are elevated in the TauTKO heart, such as betaine and carnitine, are not altered by taurine deficiency. Second, the integrated analysis using transcriptome and metabolome data revealed significant increases and/or decreases in the genes involved in Arginine metabolism, Ketone body degradation, Glycerophospholipid metabolism, and Fatty acid metabolism in the KEGG pathway database. In conclusion, these pathway analyses revealed genetic compensatory mechanisms involved in the control of the metabolome profile of the taurine-deficient heart. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Good Things in Small Packages? Evaluating an Economy of Scale Approach to Behavioral Health Promotion in Rural America
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
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Abstract
Rural American youth exhibit pronounced health disparities. This study enlists insights from an economy of scale paradigm to determine the relative effects of serving smaller versus larger client groups in an assembly-style school-based behavioral health promotion program. Evaluation results are reported from a
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Rural American youth exhibit pronounced health disparities. This study enlists insights from an economy of scale paradigm to determine the relative effects of serving smaller versus larger client groups in an assembly-style school-based behavioral health promotion program. Evaluation results are reported from a three-year intervention delivered to eighth-grade and tenth-grade rural Mississippi students from 2012 to 2015. The program, I Got U: Healthy Life Choices for Teens, coupled a day-long intensive immersion in youth risk prevention and mental health promotion with school-based information dissemination. Results reveal robust effectiveness in program years 1 and 2, during which caps of 175 attendees per event were imposed. Salutary results were no longer evident during year 3, when larger venues were used to serve over three times the number of students per event. This program teaches valuable lessons about the potential for diminishing returns yielded by an economy of scale approach to implementation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Educational Attainment Promotes Fruit and Vegetable Intake for Whites but Not Blacks
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
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Abstract
Background. Although the protective effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on health behaviors are well-known, according to the minorities’ diminished return theory, the health return of SES, particularly educational attainment, is systemically smaller for minorities than Whites. Aims. The current study explored Black–White
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Background. Although the protective effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on health behaviors are well-known, according to the minorities’ diminished return theory, the health return of SES, particularly educational attainment, is systemically smaller for minorities than Whites. Aims. The current study explored Black–White differences in the effects of educational attainment and income on the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Methods. This cross-sectional study used the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 2017 (n = 3217). HINTS is a nationally representative survey of American adults. The current analysis included 2277 adults who were either non-Hispanic White (n = 1868; 82%) or non-Hispanic Black (n = 409; 18%). The independent variables in this study were SES (educational attainment and income). The dependent variable was consumption of fruits and vegetables. Race was the focal moderator. Results. In the overall sample, high educational attainment and income were associated with higher consumption of fruits and vegetables. Race moderated the effect of educational attainment but not income on the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Conclusion. In line with the past research in the United States, Whites constantly gain more health benefits from the very same educational attainment than Blacks. The health gain from income is more equal across races than the health gain from educational attainment. Such diminished returns may be due to racism across institutions in the United States. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Octyl Gallate as an Intervention Catalyst to Augment Antifungal Efficacy of Caspofungin
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
Filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus spp. are opportunistic pathogens, which cause highly invasive infections, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Control of such fungal pathogens is increasingly problematic due to the small number of effective drugs available for treatment. Moreover, the increased incidence of fungal
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Filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus spp. are opportunistic pathogens, which cause highly invasive infections, especially in immunocompromised individuals. Control of such fungal pathogens is increasingly problematic due to the small number of effective drugs available for treatment. Moreover, the increased incidence of fungal resistance to antifungal agents makes this problem a global human health issue. The cell wall integrity system of fungi is the target of antimycotic drugs echinocandins, such as caspofungin (CAS). However, echinocandins cannot completely inhibit the growth of filamentous fungal pathogens, which results in survival/escape of fungi during treatment. Chemosensitization was developed as an alternative intervention strategy, where co-application of CAS with the intervention catalyst octyl gallate (OG; chemosensitizer) greatly enhanced CAS efficacy, thus achieved ≥99.9% elimination of filamentous fungi in vitro. Based on hypersensitive responses of Aspergillus antioxidant mutants to OG, it is hypothesized that, besides destabilizing cell wall integrity, the redox-active characteristic of OG may further debilitate the fungal antioxidant system. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Enhancing Mentorship in Psychiatry and Health Sciences: A Study Investigating Needs and Preferences in the Development of a Mentoring Program
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Preferences for the delivery of department-led mentorship programs are important to understanding and closing the gap between mentorship need and mentorship actualization. The objective of this paper is to, therefore, describe the perceived needs and barriers to mentorship in a postgraduate psychiatry program
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Preferences for the delivery of department-led mentorship programs are important to understanding and closing the gap between mentorship need and mentorship actualization. The objective of this paper is to, therefore, describe the perceived needs and barriers to mentorship in a postgraduate psychiatry program through separate mixed-methods surveys for psychiatry residents and health sciences faculty at a Canadian University. The surveys explored (1) the prevalence of mentorship, (2) barriers to adequate mentorship, and (3) program initiatives that could address these barriers. Qualitative responses were analyzed using an inductive analytic approach. The results of both surveys revealed that while psychiatry residents and faculty believed mentorship to be important for career success, fewer than half of residents (33%) or faculty (47%) reported receiving mentorship in the department. Residents and faculty ranked lack of exposure to mentorship, and lack of time as their top barrier to mentorship, respectively. The following components of a mentorship program were described as ideal: (1) the ability to choose one's own mentor, (2) training sessions for mentors, and (3) faculty mentoring webpage profiles to facilitate the matching of interests. Respondents suggested that mentoring program developers should foster a culture encouraging mentorship, seek mentors outside of regular program-related supervision, allow mentees to choose a mentor, and establishing structure, through aligning expectations and goal setting in mentoring relationships. There is a gap between desire for mentorship and actualization. Program developers in psychiatry medical education may choose to incorporate these findings to enhance mentorship. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Alternative Approaches to the Search for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatments
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Clinical trials of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease have called into question the role of amyloid in the disease. The reasons several drugs recently failed clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease are presented. An alternative approach with a traditional plant medicine is discussed. The pharmacology
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Clinical trials of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease have called into question the role of amyloid in the disease. The reasons several drugs recently failed clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease are presented. An alternative approach with a traditional plant medicine is discussed. The pharmacology of the phytochemicals found in the plant medicine is provided. Full article
Open AccessEditorial J—A Multidisciplinary Open Access Journal to Accelerate Scientific Communication
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
At its best, academic publishing facilitates the communication of the latest research results, accelerates sharing new and verified knowledge, and creates synergies between researchers in answering society’s most fundamental questions.[...] Full article
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