Special Issue "Biological and Health Effects of Low Level Non-Ionising Electromagnetic Fields"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Irena Cosic
Website
Guest Editor
1. Science Engineering and Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
2. AMALNA Consulting, Melbourne, VIC 3193, Australia
Interests: bioelectromagnetism, molecular modeling, signal processing, resonances, electromagnetic radiation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our environment is saturated with electromagnetic radiation from different sources including natural (Earth and Sun electromagnetic fields) and man-made (power lines, radio, TV, mobile phones, radars, electrical equipment) radiation. These radiations have enormous differences in power and frequency and, consequently, can have different, both adverse and beneficial, effects on biological systems and human health. Although high power and ionising radiation adverse effects are much more understood, the biological effects of low level, non-ionising electromagnetic radiation are not well identified and understood despite considerable research already being done.

For this Special Issue we invite submissions that examine both adverse and beneficial influence of low level non-ionising electromagnetic radiation on biological systems from biological tissue, molecules, and whole organism including health effects.

Prof. Dr. Irena Cosic
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Electromagnetic fields and public health
  • Influence of electromagnetic radiation to human body
  • Biological effects of electromagnetic radiation to tissue, cells and molecules
  • Bioelectromagnetism
  • Biomolecular electronics
  • Electromagnetc basis of molecular interactions
  • Bioelectrical impedance
  • Electrical properties of accupuncture
  • Cell and tissue electromagnetic properties

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Technical Approach to the Evaluation of Radiofrequency Radiation Emissions from Mobile Telephony Base Stations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030244 - 01 Mar 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
During the last two decades, the number of macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas emitting radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in residential areas has increased significantly, and therefore much more attention is being paid to RF EMR and its effects on human health. [...] Read more.
During the last two decades, the number of macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas emitting radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in residential areas has increased significantly, and therefore much more attention is being paid to RF EMR and its effects on human health. Scientific field measurements of public exposure to RF EMR (specifically to radio frequency radiation) from macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas and RF electromagnetic field (EMF) intensity parameters in the environment are discussed in this article. The research methodology is applied according to the requirements of safety norms and Lithuanian Standards in English (LST EN). The article presents and analyses RF EMFs generated by mobile telephony base station antennas in areas accessible to the general public. Measurements of the RF electric field strength and RF EMF power density were conducted in the near- and far-fields of the mobile telephony base station antenna. Broadband and frequency-selective measurements were performed outside (on the roof and on the ground) and in a residential area. The tests performed on the roof in front of the mobile telephony base station antennas in the near-field revealed the presence of a dynamic energy interaction within the antenna electric field, which changes rapidly with distance. The RF EMF power density values on the ground at distances of 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 m from the base station are very low and are scattered within intervals of 0.002 to 0.05 μW/cm2. The results were compared with international exposure guidelines (ICNIRP). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Investigation on the Effect of Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Human Electrocardiograms (ECGs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111171 - 23 Nov 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
For this investigation, we studied the effects of extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF) on the human cardiac signal. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 22 healthy volunteers before and after a short duration of ELF-PEMF exposure were recorded. The experiment was conducted under single-blind [...] Read more.
For this investigation, we studied the effects of extremely low frequency pulse electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF) on the human cardiac signal. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 22 healthy volunteers before and after a short duration of ELF-PEMF exposure were recorded. The experiment was conducted under single-blind conditions. The root mean square (RMS) value of the recorded data was considered as comparison criteria. We also measured and analysed four important ECG time intervals before and after ELF-PEMF exposure. Results revealed that the RMS value of the ECG recordings from 18 participants (81.8% of the total participants) increased with a mean value of 3.72%. The increase in ECG voltage levels was then verified by a second experimental protocol with a control exposure. In addition to this, we used hyperbolic T-distributions (HTD) in the analysis of ECG signals to verify the change in the RR interval. It was found that there were small shifts in the frequency-domain signal before and after EMF exposure. This shift has an influence on all frequency components of the ECG signals, as all spectrums were shifted. It is shown from this investigation that a short time exposure to ELF-PEMF can affect the properties of ECG signals. Further study is needed to consolidate this finding and discover more on the biological effects of ELF-PEMF on human physiological processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Precautionary Communication in the EMF Field? Effects of Making Messages Consistent and Explaining the Effectiveness of Precautions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13100992 - 09 Oct 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
Many radiation health agencies communicate precautionary measures regarding the use of mobile communication devices, e.g. the use of a headset while talking on the phone. These precautionary messages have, however, been shown to unintentionally increase risk perceptions about radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). The [...] Read more.
Many radiation health agencies communicate precautionary measures regarding the use of mobile communication devices, e.g. the use of a headset while talking on the phone. These precautionary messages have, however, been shown to unintentionally increase risk perceptions about radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). The current study tested two potential ways of amending precautionary messages in order to minimise this unintentional effect. Firstly, the messages’ potential to be perceived as inconsistent and thereby raise suspicions was addressed; secondly, the effectiveness of the precautions was explained. An experimental design was applied in which a quota sample of 1717 Australian residents was randomly assigned to one of six message conditions. Three different risk perception measures served as dependent variables, two of them are conditional measures. The original effect of precautionary messages to amplify risk perceptions could not be replicated. Furthermore, amending precautionary messages in favour of more consistency had no effect, while explaining the effectiveness of the precautions increased conditional risk perception under the condition that no precautions are taken. This was contrary to our assumptions. We infer from these results that changing precautionary messages in terms of consistency and effectiveness in order to reduce risk perception is hardly possible. The use of conditional risk perception measures seems fruitful for studies looking at the effects of precautionary or protective messages, given that previous studies have only investigated effects on unconditional risk perception. However, the present results should not be over-interpreted as the measures’ validity in the EMF context still needs further investigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lessons and Perspectives from a 25-Year Bioelectromagnetics Research Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13100950 - 23 Sep 2016
Abstract
The question of whether electromagnetic fields from electric power or telecommunications systems can be linked unequivocally to health detriments has occupied scientific research endeavors for nearly half a century. For 25 years, the bioelectromagnetic research group at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, has [...] Read more.
The question of whether electromagnetic fields from electric power or telecommunications systems can be linked unequivocally to health detriments has occupied scientific research endeavors for nearly half a century. For 25 years, the bioelectromagnetic research group at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, has pursued a series of investigations with relevant endpoints, such as neurophysiological and neuropsychological effects, cell calcium level changes, proliferation, and genotoxic effects. Most have shown no significant changes due to fields, however, in some pilot studies significant changes were revealed, but in most cases these were not replicated in follow-up studies. This highlights a feature of this research area, generally; the unambiguous identification of small changes in noisy data where the understanding of possible interaction mechanisms is lacking. On the other hand, mathematical modelling studies, particularly with respect to fields near metallic implants, in workers exposed to fields in harsh environmental conditions and at very high frequencies (THz), continue to add to the expanding knowledge database on the characteristics of the complex electromagnetic environment we live in today. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note
The Possibility of Decreasing 50-Hz Electric Field Exposure near 400-kV Power Lines with Arc Flash Personal Protective Equipment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13100942 - 23 Sep 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
Various guidelines for the protection of human beings against possible adverse effects resulting from exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been published with a view towards continual improvement; therefore, decreasing exposure is an important research area. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
Various guidelines for the protection of human beings against possible adverse effects resulting from exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been published with a view towards continual improvement; therefore, decreasing exposure is an important research area. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of decreasing electric field exposure with arc flash rated personal protective equipment (PPE), which in this case was a set of coveralls, and to compare the measurement results to calculations using the helmet-mask measuring system. We collected the data under a 400-kV power line. The test person stood on isolated aluminum paper, and the current between the ground and the aluminum paper was measured. When the test subject wore the arc flash PPE, the current to the ground was only 9.5% of the current measured when wearing normal clothes, which represents a clear decrease in exposure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Long-Term Exposure to 60 GHz Millimeter-Wavelength Radiation on the Genotoxicity and Heat Shock Protein (Hsp) Expression of Cells Derived from Human Eye
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(8), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13080802 - 08 Aug 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Human corneal epithelial (HCE-T) and human lens epithelial (SRA01/04) cells derived from the human eye were exposed to 60 gigahertz (GHz) millimeter-wavelength radiation for 24 h. There was no statistically significant increase in the micronucleus (MN) frequency in cells exposed to 60 GHz [...] Read more.
Human corneal epithelial (HCE-T) and human lens epithelial (SRA01/04) cells derived from the human eye were exposed to 60 gigahertz (GHz) millimeter-wavelength radiation for 24 h. There was no statistically significant increase in the micronucleus (MN) frequency in cells exposed to 60 GHz millimeter-wavelength radiation at 1 mW/cm2 compared with sham-exposed controls and incubator controls. The MN frequency of cells treated with bleomycin for 1 h provided positive controls. The comet assay, used to detect DNA strand breaks, and heat shock protein (Hsp) expression also showed no statistically significant effects of exposure. These results indicate that exposure to millimeter-wavelength radiation has no effect on genotoxicity in human eye cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Twenty Four-Hour Exposure to a 0.12 THz Electromagnetic Field Does Not Affect the Genotoxicity, Morphological Changes, or Expression of Heat Shock Protein in HCE-T Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(8), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13080793 - 05 Aug 2016
Cited by 10
Abstract
To investigate the cellular effects of terahertz (THz) exposure, human corneal epithelial (HCE-T) cells derived from human eye were exposed to 0.12 THz radiation at 5 mW/cm2 for 24 h, then the genotoxicity, morphological changes, and heat shock protein (Hsp) expression of [...] Read more.
To investigate the cellular effects of terahertz (THz) exposure, human corneal epithelial (HCE-T) cells derived from human eye were exposed to 0.12 THz radiation at 5 mW/cm2 for 24 h, then the genotoxicity, morphological changes, and heat shock protein (Hsp) expression of the cells were examined. There was no statistically significant increase in the micronucleus (MN) frequency of cells exposed to 0.12 THz radiation compared with sham-exposed controls and incubator controls, whereas the MN frequency of cells treated with bleomycin for 1 h (positive control) did increase significantly. Similarly, there were no significant morphological changes in cells exposed to 0.12 THz radiation compared to sham-exposed controls and incubator controls, and Hsp expression (Hsp27, Hsp70, and Hsp90α) was also not significantly different between the three treatments. These results indicate that exposure to 0.12 THz radiation using the present conditions appears to have no or very little effect on MN formation, morphological changes, and Hsp expression in cells derived from human eye. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Light and Its Relationship with Electromagnetic Resonances of Biomolecular Interactions, as Predicted by the Resonant Recognition Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13070647 - 29 Jun 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
The meaning and influence of light to biomolecular interactions, and consequently to health, has been analyzed using the Resonant Recognition Model (RRM). The RRM proposes that biological processes/interactions are based on electromagnetic resonances between interacting biomolecules at specific electromagnetic frequencies within the infra-red, [...] Read more.
The meaning and influence of light to biomolecular interactions, and consequently to health, has been analyzed using the Resonant Recognition Model (RRM). The RRM proposes that biological processes/interactions are based on electromagnetic resonances between interacting biomolecules at specific electromagnetic frequencies within the infra-red, visible and ultra-violet frequency ranges, where each interaction can be identified by the certain frequency critical for resonant activation of specific biological activities of proteins and DNA. We found that: (1) the various biological interactions could be grouped according to their resonant frequency into super families of these functions, enabling simpler analyses of these interactions and consequently analyses of influence of electromagnetic frequencies to health; (2) the RRM spectrum of all analyzed biological functions/interactions is the same as the spectrum of the sun light on the Earth, which is in accordance with fact that life is sustained by the sun light; (3) the water is transparent to RRM frequencies, enabling proteins and DNA to interact without loss of energy; (4) the spectrum of some artificial sources of light, as opposed to the sun light, do not cover the whole RRM spectrum, causing concerns for disturbance to some biological functions and consequently we speculate that it can influence health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Children’s Personal Exposure Measurements to Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13060549 - 31 May 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
Extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) exposure is still a topic of concern due to their possible impact on children’s health. Although epidemiological studies claimed an evidence of a possible association between ELF-MF above 0.4 μT and childhood leukemia, biological mechanisms able to [...] Read more.
Extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) exposure is still a topic of concern due to their possible impact on children’s health. Although epidemiological studies claimed an evidence of a possible association between ELF-MF above 0.4 μT and childhood leukemia, biological mechanisms able to support a causal relationship between ELF-MF and this disease were not found yet. To provide further knowledge about children’s ELF-MF exposure correlated to children’s daily activities, a measurement study was conducted in Milan (Italy). Eighty-six children were recruited, 52 of whom were specifically chosen with respect to the distance to power lines and built-in transformers to oversample potentially highly exposed children. Personal and bedroom measurements were performed for each child in two different seasons. The major outcomes of this study are: (1) median values over 24-h personal and bedroom measurements were <3 μT established by the Italian law as the quality target; (2) geometric mean values over 24-h bedroom measurements were mostly <0.4 μT; (3) seasonal variations did not significantly influence personal and bedroom measurements; (4) the highest average MF levels were mostly found at home during the day and outdoors; (5) no significant differences were found in the median and geometric mean values between personal and bedroom measurements, but were found in the arithmetic mean. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
An Overview of Sub-Cellular Mechanisms Involved in the Action of TTFields
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111128 - 12 Nov 2016
Cited by 15
Abstract
Long-standing research on electric and electromagnetic field interactions with biological cells and their subcellular structures has mainly focused on the low- and high-frequency regimes. Biological effects at intermediate frequencies between 100 and 300 kHz have been recently discovered and applied to cancer cells [...] Read more.
Long-standing research on electric and electromagnetic field interactions with biological cells and their subcellular structures has mainly focused on the low- and high-frequency regimes. Biological effects at intermediate frequencies between 100 and 300 kHz have been recently discovered and applied to cancer cells as a therapeutic modality called Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields). TTFields are clinically applied to disrupt cell division, primarily for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In this review, we provide an assessment of possible physical interactions between 100 kHz range alternating electric fields and biological cells in general and their nano-scale subcellular structures in particular. This is intended to mechanistically elucidate the observed strong disruptive effects in cancer cells. Computational models of isolated cells subject to TTFields predict that for intermediate frequencies the intracellular electric field strength significantly increases and that peak dielectrophoretic forces develop in dividing cells. These findings are in agreement with in vitro observations of TTFields’ disruptive effects on cellular function. We conclude that the most likely candidates to provide a quantitative explanation of these effects are ionic condensation waves around microtubules as well as dielectrophoretic effects on the dipole moments of microtubules. A less likely possibility is the involvement of actin filaments or ion channels. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Bioelectromagnetics Research within an Australian Context: The Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 967; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13100967 - 29 Sep 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Mobile phone subscriptions continue to increase across the world, with the electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by these devices, as well as by related technologies such as Wi-Fi and smart meters, now ubiquitous. This increase in use and consequent exposure to mobile communication (MC)-related [...] Read more.
Mobile phone subscriptions continue to increase across the world, with the electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by these devices, as well as by related technologies such as Wi-Fi and smart meters, now ubiquitous. This increase in use and consequent exposure to mobile communication (MC)-related EMF has led to concern about possible health effects that could arise from this exposure. Although much research has been conducted since the introduction of these technologies, uncertainty about the impact on health remains. The Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR) is a National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence that is undertaking research addressing the most important aspects of the MC-EMF health debate, with a strong focus on mechanisms, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and exposure dosimetry. This research takes as its starting point the current scientific status quo, but also addresses the adequacy of the evidence for the status quo. Risk communication research complements the above, and aims to ensure that whatever is found, it is communicated effectively and appropriately. This paper provides a summary of this ACEBR research (both completed and ongoing), and discusses the rationale for conducting it in light of the prevailing science. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review of Studies Concerning Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposure Assessment in Europe: Low Frequency Fields (50 Hz–100 kHz)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(9), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13090875 - 01 Sep 2016
Cited by 27
Abstract
We aimed to review the findings of exposure assessment studies done in European countries on the exposure of the general public to low frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) of various frequencies. The study shows that outdoor average extremely low frequency magnetic fields [...] Read more.
We aimed to review the findings of exposure assessment studies done in European countries on the exposure of the general public to low frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) of various frequencies. The study shows that outdoor average extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) in public areas in urban environments range between 0.05 and 0.2 µT in terms of flux densities, but stronger values (of the order of a few µT) may occur directly beneath high-voltage power lines, at the walls of transformer buildings, and at the boundary fences of substations. In the indoor environment, high values have been measured close to several domestic appliances (up to the mT range), some of which are held close to the body, e.g., hair dryers, electric shavers. Common sources of exposure to intermediate frequencies (IF) include induction cookers, compact fluorescent lamps, inductive charging systems for electric cars and security or anti-theft devices. No systematic measurement surveys or personal exposimetry data for the IF range have been carried out and only a few reports on measurements of EMFs around such devices are mentioned. According to the available European exposure assessment studies, three population exposure categories were classified by the authors regarding the possible future risk analysis. This classification should be considered a crucial advancement for exposure assessment, which is a mandatory step in any future health risk assessment of EMFs exposure. Full article
Open AccessReview
Quality Matters: Systematic Analysis of Endpoints Related to “Cellular Life” in Vitro Data of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13070701 - 12 Jul 2016
Cited by 12
Abstract
Possible hazardous effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) at low exposure levels are controversially discussed due to inconsistent study findings. Therefore, the main focus of the present study is to detect if any statistical association exists between RF-EMF and cellular responses, considering cell [...] Read more.
Possible hazardous effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) at low exposure levels are controversially discussed due to inconsistent study findings. Therefore, the main focus of the present study is to detect if any statistical association exists between RF-EMF and cellular responses, considering cell proliferation and apoptosis endpoints separately and with both combined as a group of “cellular life” to increase the statistical power of the analysis. We searched for publications regarding RF-EMF in vitro studies in the PubMed database for the period 1995–2014 and extracted the data to the relevant parameters, such as cell culture type, frequency, exposure duration, SAR, and five exposure-related quality criteria. These parameters were used for an association study with the experimental outcome in terms of the defined endpoints. We identified 104 published articles, from which 483 different experiments were extracted and analyzed. Cellular responses after exposure to RF-EMF were significantly associated to cell lines rather than to primary cells. No other experimental parameter was significantly associated with cellular responses. A highly significant negative association with exposure condition-quality and cellular responses was detected, showing that the more the quality criteria requirements were satisfied, the smaller the number of detected cellular responses. According to our knowledge, this is the first systematic analysis of specific RF-EMF bio-effects in association to exposure quality, highlighting the need for more stringent quality procedures for the exposure conditions. Full article
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