Scientific Hypotheses – Michigan Paranormal Encounters http://michiganparanormalencounters.com/ Fri, 10 Sep 2021 21:42:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2.png Scientific Hypotheses – Michigan Paranormal Encounters http://michiganparanormalencounters.com/ 32 32 Inspire your kids to learn at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/inspire-your-kids-to-learn-at-discovery-gateway-childrens-museum/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/inspire-your-kids-to-learn-at-discovery-gateway-childrens-museum/#respond Fri, 10 Sep 2021 21:25:40 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/inspire-your-kids-to-learn-at-discovery-gateway-childrens-museum/ The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum (DGCM) is known for its impactful learning through playful exhibits, but it also offers other exciting elements. Andrea Franco, science professor at the DGEM, is eager to share all the news that is happening. Discovery Gateway’s programs and exhibits are designed to address the many ways children learn, as well […]]]>

The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum (DGCM) is known for its impactful learning through playful exhibits, but it also offers other exciting elements. Andrea Franco, science professor at the DGEM, is eager to share all the news that is happening.

Discovery Gateway’s programs and exhibits are designed to address the many ways children learn, as well as to help parents understand and support their children’s development. Engaging and interactive activities inspire creative and fun play and learning for the whole family.

Whether your child enjoys painting, dancing, storytelling or scientific exploration, the DGCM programming offers fun and educational classes. Classes change daily so there is always something new and exciting happening at the museum! Daily lessons are free with admission to the museum as well.

STEAM Studio + Lab

Art is a natural entry point into inquiry-based learning for children and allows the other four domains to seamlessly connect. Children are naturally curious and learn through hands-on experiences that allow them to ask questions, formulate hypotheses and build knowledge. This leads to identifying problems and coming up with unique and creative solutions, often creating something completely new in the process.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programs offer a wide variety of inquiry-based, participant-driven, and engaging STEAM-focused experiences. Programs vary from introductory 10 to 15 minute activities to in-depth family learning experiences of 30 to 60 minutes. All of their STEAM classes invite children to learn through play. These programs are recommended for ages 3 and up.

Through interaction with STEAM exhibitions and programs, attendees have the opportunity to experience wonder, research, experiment, problem-solve, and most importantly, learn by the game.

The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum inspires children of all ages and abilities to imagine, explore and connect with their world to make a difference.

To learn more, visit the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum.

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The United States risks becoming an unreliable partner in the fight against future pandemics https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/the-united-states-risks-becoming-an-unreliable-partner-in-the-fight-against-future-pandemics/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/the-united-states-risks-becoming-an-unreliable-partner-in-the-fight-against-future-pandemics/#respond Wed, 08 Sep 2021 07:01:18 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/the-united-states-risks-becoming-an-unreliable-partner-in-the-fight-against-future-pandemics/ Coronavirus with USA outline map. / Getty Coronavirus with USA outline map. / Getty Editor’s Note: Adriel Kasonta is a London-based foreign affairs analyst and commentator. He is the founder of AK Consultancy and former Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of Bow Group, the UK’s oldest conservative think tank. The article reflects the views […]]]>

Coronavirus with USA outline map. / Getty

Coronavirus with USA outline map. / Getty

Editor’s Note: Adriel Kasonta is a London-based foreign affairs analyst and commentator. He is the founder of AK Consultancy and former Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of Bow Group, the UK’s oldest conservative think tank. The article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of CGTN.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government has already decided on its origins. The virus, as first supported by President Donald Trump and pushed by then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was seen as the product of the Chinese government’s malicious intent and potential biological weapon produced to harm the “free world”.

Although the U.S. intelligence community issued a statement on April 30, 2020 that it “subscribes to the broad scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified,” once the propaganda of the disseminated “Chinese virus”, it has managed to harbor a seed of doubt in global consciousness, giving rise to extreme sinophobia both at home and abroad.

Despite high hopes on President Joe Biden to break with the stigmatizing destructive practices dear to his predecessor, the new Commander-in-Chief decided on May 26 to ask the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” within 90 days. in the hopes of finding a “definitive conclusion” on the origins of the coronavirus amid increasing attention to the so-called lab leak hypothesis.

The report released in late August by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the country’s 18 spy agencies, said the investigation was inconclusive and could not unequivocally state whether the pandemic was the result of a laboratory accident or human contact with an infected animal. .

“All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible: natural exposure to an infected animal and an incident associated with the laboratory,” the report said. These were the same two assumptions the US intelligence community had “converged” earlier this year before Biden asked the agencies to conduct the most recent investigation.

What is most important about this new examination, while it may not have addressed the fundamental question of where the virus emerged, is the fact that intelligence agencies were able to “come to a conclusion. broad agreement on several other key issues, “including the judgment that” the virus was not developed as a biological weapon “and” Chinese officials had no prior knowledge of the virus before the outbreak of the initial outbreak of COVID-19 – the two most outrageous and outrageous accusations leveled by the United States against Beijing.

It is also worth mentioning that while the WHO-China joint study on the origins of SARS-CoV-2 published on March 30 concluded that the virus was most likely transmitted from bats to humans and was ” extremely unlikely “that it will escape the lab, a group of 13 countries friendly to the United States have expressed concerns about the independence of this investigation, citing delays and a lack of full access to the data.

Members of the WHO team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic inspect the Hubei Animal Outbreak Prevention and Control Center in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, February 2 2021. / Getty

Members of the WHO team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic inspect the Hubei Animal Outbreak Prevention and Control Center in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, February 2 2021. / Getty

Disappointingly, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, under heavy political pressure, also admitted that experts were struggling to get raw data and that the report did not collect enough evidence from which to base them. investigators could draw concrete conclusions, and called for further investigations. in the theory that the outbreak was the result of a lab leak.

As it has already become a standard ritual of shame, the recent summary of the report by US intelligence agencies claims that “China’s cooperation would most likely be necessary to reach a conclusive assessment of the origins of COVID-19”, further antagonizing the country by saying it “continues to obstruct the global investigation, resist information sharing and blame other countries, including the United States.”

Interestingly, the summary admits that “the international community is using the issue to exert political pressure on China,” which is undoubtedly still championed by the US president.

“While this review is complete, our efforts to understand the origins of this pandemic will not stop,” Biden said in his statement on the investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.

By claiming that his administration had “renewed American leadership in the World Health Organization and rallied allies and partners to focus again on this critical issue,” President Biden shows that he is not. willing to refrain from politicizing the origins of the virus tracing, and, as Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said, aims to “blame China.”

Instead of supporting virus tracing work based on open, transparent, scientific and cooperative principles, the United States wants to impose its will on China, which, as Professor Jeffrey Sachs noted, is an example a deep lack of “good manners”.

Continuing such behavior will cost the lives of others and hamper the ability of the international community to deal with similar or even worse pandemics in the future.

The United States would be well advised to listen to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin and “seek solidarity instead of confrontation, take responsibility instead of blaming it, be guided by science to instead of politics and supporting international cooperation in combating the virus and tracing the origins instead of disrupting relevant efforts. “

(If you would like to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com.)


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How challenging risky ideas fuels the research ecosystem https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/how-challenging-risky-ideas-fuels-the-research-ecosystem/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/how-challenging-risky-ideas-fuels-the-research-ecosystem/#respond Fri, 03 Sep 2021 19:56:47 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/how-challenging-risky-ideas-fuels-the-research-ecosystem/ Stephen Quake, PhD Leveraging his expertise and passion for basic research, Quake helped establish the Chan Zuckerberg (CZ) Biohub in 2016. The CZ Biohub is a regional research organization aimed at understanding the fundamental mechanisms of disease in order to develop new technologies that can lead to effective diagnostics and therapies. . According to Quake, […]]]>

Stephen Quake, PhD

Leveraging his expertise and passion for basic research, Quake helped establish the Chan Zuckerberg (CZ) Biohub in 2016. The CZ Biohub is a regional research organization aimed at understanding the fundamental mechanisms of disease in order to develop new technologies that can lead to effective diagnostics and therapies. . According to Quake, the association allows faculty members at associated universities (the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at San Francisco and Stanford University) to embrace the riskier ideas – “those that wouldn’t get funding from conventional sources, ”Quake said.

CZ Biohub solicits research proposals from individual faculty members. However, the organization approaches this with a twist. He asks professors to submit ideas that would never be funded by government agencies because the scientist might lack sufficient preliminary data to convince a panel of skeptical peers or, for other reasons, would likely not be successful. a large subsidy.

The importance of basic research

Quake said 90 faculty members have been funded through this mechanism. He lists some of the incredible research achievements that have resulted from the initiative. The discoveries include the discovery of new forms of microbial life, the acquisition of new knowledge in neuroscience, and the design of potential new medical devices that monitor a patient’s response to drugs. CZ Biohub’s support to its scientists enables them to obtain preliminary data and complete proof-of-concept studies so that they can secure larger funds in the longer term.

A notable example of how well this system worked was during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid pace of scientific progress made during the pandemic in vaccine and therapy development has built on work done by scientists in academia over the past decades, Quake said. The compressed work they did during a global emergency was only made possible thanks to the foundations laid by many scientists doing basic research in academic and government laboratories.

CZ Biohub helps researchers find answers to key questions by partnering with them early in the process, when smaller amounts of financial support are transformative and help advance research where it can receive federal funding. If federal funding is the foundation of basic science, CZ Biohub helps nurture this ecosystem, Quake explained. In this way, the organization helps to accelerate basic science.

“[Basic research] helps us understand the fundamental nature of the universe and, in the case of biology, understand what life is, ”Quake explained. “We all have this curiosity. Why does this little beetle look like this? And why does it do that? And why were the birds flying south for the winter? Why are we getting old? Why do we get sick and why can’t we live forever? These are all questions we are thinking about. Basic research is helping us get the answer. “

Plus, CZ Biohub is tackling big projects, Quake said. Quake is closely involved in an initiative to create a cell atlas to accompany the genome. The goal of the project is to create molecular portraits of all cell types in an organism and to really understand how the genome is used in different cells.

Quake explains that the genome, while the same in all cells, is more of a “parts list,” where different parts are used in lung cells compared to brain or kidney cells. The reference resource they are developing notes this difference in a powerful way. Cellular atlases are created for mice, humans, flies, and even lemurs.

The intersection of academia, industry and nonprofits

As a theoretical physicist, Quake helped start the bioengineering department at Stanford. He has always been interested in the interface between biology and physics, he explained. His laboratory focused on two main areas: the development of liquid biopsies and the development of cell atlases. In both of these spaces he was also a successful entrepreneur.

“I was very interested to see the fruits of our research helping people,” Quake said. “If you’re an academic you tend to write articles and they accumulate dust in journals. To really see things having an impact you have to take it to the next level, and that’s why I got involved in helping founded businesses. “

Fluidigm was the first company founded by Quake 20 years ago. He is considered by many to be the grandfather of modern single-cell analysis. The company manufactures microfluidic devices, which now have hundreds of applications in molecular and cellular biology.

In the field of biotools, Quake also founded Helicos Biosciences, and in the field of diagnostics, he launched Verinata, CareDx and Caris Life Sciences, among others. Another company he helped establish, Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, provides genomic analysis of human cancers. Quake co-founded two therapeutic companies: Tachyon Therapeutics and IgGenix.

“It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot along the way, and it’s just been a great amplifier of the things that are coming out of academic research,” Quake said.

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Do you remember the first time? | Opinion https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/do-you-remember-the-first-time-opinion/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/do-you-remember-the-first-time-opinion/#respond Tue, 31 Aug 2021 09:49:13 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/do-you-remember-the-first-time-opinion/ My first science lesson remains etched in my memory some thirty years later. After a brief introduction to the importance of observation and experimentation, our teacher weighed a sheet of magnesium in a small crucible before lighting it and weighing the ashes again. He had gained weight rather than lost – which was quite unexpected […]]]>

My first science lesson remains etched in my memory some thirty years later. After a brief introduction to the importance of observation and experimentation, our teacher weighed a sheet of magnesium in a small crucible before lighting it and weighing the ashes again. He had gained weight rather than lost – which was quite unexpected for our nine-year-old minds. So we learned that combustion was the result of adding oxygen to magnesium. Especially during all of this, our teacher insisted that one of our students accompany him to the scale, to witness the weigh-in – and to make sure he was not cheating. Null in verba – take no one’s word for it – in action.

I’m not sure which learning outcome from this lesson had the greatest impact. We learned that a scientist’s most important instrument were his eyes – not the Bunsen burners our professor was curiously keen to show off. We’ve learned that hypotheses – whether things gain or lose weight when burned in this case – can be tested experimentally. And we’ve learned that you have to see the results for yourself.

It should be noted that in this memorable lesson – one of the many factors that led me on my way to a bachelor’s degree, diploma, doctorate, and a career in publishing in chemistry – I did not touch a single device. In fact, I can hardly remember the practical work I did during those early years of science lessons at school. With the well-intentioned aim of ensuring that today’s students have memorable hands-on experiences in their science education, we must remember that doing experiments for fun, unrelated to the material being learned, is simply not worth it. not worth it. And on the other side of the equation, a well-done demonstration or video, with a lot of interaction, can be just as or more powerful than a practice done by a student.

Thank goodness it does, because in the last 18 months of the pandemic, students around the world have been denied access to their school’s labs for long periods of time. As Clare Sansom reports in her article, ingenious teachers made up for that with demos, videos, online experiences, and even home experiences. Hopefully the next generation of chemists will recover from this setback, even more eager to step into their labs and hone their experimental skills.

But what about the next generation of teachers? The pandemic has also affected those at the start of their careers. The Royal Society of Chemistry interviewed trainees and newly qualified teachers in April this year, with worrying results. Almost 80% of those polled believed the pandemic had negatively affected their school placement experience, and about half felt unwilling to teach hands-on chemistry classes.

But what about the next generation of teachers? The pandemic has also affected those at the start of their careers. The Royal Society of Chemistry interviewed trainees and newly qualified teachers in April of this year, with worrying results (https://rsc.li/3iy1HV7). Almost 80% of those polled believed the pandemic had negatively affected their school placement experience, and about half felt unwilling to teach hands-on chemistry classes.

RSC calls on the UK government to fill this skills gap with £ 7million of practice-oriented professional development for early-career science teachers. It has also provided its own set of support and resources, including live online sessions on teaching practical chemistry, in addition to the many existing resources.

One would hope that it is obvious that a country cannot hope to produce a well-trained science workforce without well-trained and adequately resourced science teachers. And with a global pandemic, a climate crisis, and ever-increasing economic dependence on high-tech industries, such a workforce would be highly desirable. At £ 7million, the ‘wonder’ vaccine makers, drug developers and renewable fuels of the future sound like a bargain to me.


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For systems biologists, life is optimally designed https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/for-systems-biologists-life-is-optimally-designed/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/for-systems-biologists-life-is-optimally-designed/#respond Fri, 27 Aug 2021 23:41:33 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/for-systems-biologists-life-is-optimally-designed/ Image: Human knee, by Blausen.com staff (2014). “Blausen Medical Medical Gallery 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI: 10.15347 / wjm / 2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436., CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons. In my last two articles (here, here), I described the ongoing revolution in systems biology where practitioners replaced evolutionary presuppositions with design-based assumptions […]]]>

Image: Human knee, by Blausen.com staff (2014). “Blausen Medical Medical Gallery 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI: 10.15347 / wjm / 2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436., CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.

In my last two articles (here, here), I described the ongoing revolution in systems biology where practitioners replaced evolutionary presuppositions with design-based assumptions such as the central role of teleology. Now, I will study how biologists have increasingly abandoned the belief that a misconception of life is pervasive. Instead, they generally assume that biological structures and systems are highly optimized.

Waiting for bad conception

The underlying logic of the Standard Evolutionary Model predicts that flawed design and non-functioning remains of organisms’ evolutionary past should litter the biosphere. The reason is well summarized in Wikipediathe article of “Argument of bad design”:

The “bad design” is consistent with the predictions of the scientific theory of evolution through natural selection. This predicts that the functionalities which have been developed for certain uses, are then reused or co-opted for different uses, or completely abandoned; and this suboptimal state is due to the inability of the hereditary mechanism to eliminate the particular vestiges of the evolutionary process.

In terms of the fitness landscape, natural selection will always grow ‘up the hill’, but a species cannot normally move from a lower peak to a higher peak without first crossing a valley.

Figure of Wikipedia of the fitness landscape. The landscape is a theoretical representation of how different organisms stack up against each other in terms of fitness. The x-axis (and often the y-axes) represent variation in traits (eg, height, fur color) and the z-axis represents fitness. Natural selection is expected to push fitness to its peak, but this peak is often not the highest.

The expectation of a bad design is not just a subjective conclusion based on intuition, but it has been rigorously demonstrated in computer models. Such a model created by Snoke, Cox and Petcher explained why evolutionary processes that allow increases in complexity must generate large amounts of unwanted DNA and non-functional elements. The details of their model are complex, but the underlying logic is simple.

For complex innovations to emerge, organisms must allow non-functional DNA to appear and persist in the population until a functional sequence appears. Such additions to the genome could occur through the duplication of a gene and then its repeated mutation. Unwanted DNA would inevitably accumulate to encompass a significant percentage of the genome. This requirement is why biologists once assumed that unwanted DNA made up up to 97 percent of the human genome.

Likewise, the origin of complex structures (eg, molecular machines) requires countless arrangements of trial and error of molecules or tissues until something beneficial emerges. Most of the tests would either be non-functional or ineffective. Therefore, only a minority of structures and biological systems should appear highly optimized.

Central argument against design

The most apparent difference in the predictions between intelligent design and nondirected evolution is the extent to which life displays suboptimal / nonfunctional design versus optimal design. Philosopher Philip Kitcher made this point in his book Living with Darwin: Evolution, Concept and Future of Faith. He used examples of what he believed to be awkward and incompetent designs as the main argument for rejecting smart design:

If you were a talented engineer designing a whale from scratch, you probably wouldn’t think of outfitting it with a rudimentary basin. … If you designed a human body, you could surely improve the knee. And if you were to design the genomes of organisms, you certainly wouldn’t fill them with garbage.

In the same vein, the biologist Nathan Lents argued in his book Human errors: a panorama of our glitches, from useless bones to broken genes that the “clumsy” design seen throughout the human body demonstrates that we are not the product of an intelligent designer but of an undirected evolutionary process:

The third category includes human faults which are due only to the limits of evolution. All species are stuck with the bodies they have, and they can only progress through the smallest changes, which happen randomly and rarely. We have inherited structures that are horribly inefficient but cannot be changed.

This is why our throats carry both food and air through the same tiny space, and why our ankles have seven unnecessary bones dangling. Correcting either of these mediocre conceptions would require far more than one-to-one mutations could ever accomplish. To suppose that these living things were created separately is to regard the creative agent as fanciful, clumsy, a mediocre engineer, an unintelligent designer.

p. xi-xii

Change point of view

Yet most of the supposedly poor design examples cited by Kitcher, Lents, and other skeptics have been canceled (here, here, here, here). The others generally represent degradations of formerly optimal designs or appeal to the error of imperfection of the gaps.

Alleged examples of poor design usually represent opinions resulting from the limited understanding of wheelchair reviews in the technical literature and their lack of engineering training. For example, in direct contradiction to the assertions of Kitcher and Lents, engineers routinely reuse design patterns in new ways, just as seen with the whale’s pelvis. And medical professionals and engineers have demonstrated how the human knee and ankle are optimally and exquisitely designed (here, here, here, here). Engineers even drew inspiration from these structures to design artificial limbs (here, here).

In addition, most of the human genome is now known to be functional thanks to the ENCODE project. The devastating ramifications of this revelation for the theory of evolution have not gone entirely unnoticed. Biochemist Dan Graur put the following bluntly:

If the human genome is indeed devoid of unwanted DNA as implied by the ENCODE project, then a long, undirected evolutionary process cannot explain the human genome. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, then all of the DNA, or as much as possible, should have some function. If ENCODE is right, then the evolution is wrong.

“Underlying optimization principles”

Equally important, systems biologists now recognize that the optimal design hypothesis leads to the most productive research. For example, Nikolaos Tsiantis, Eva Balsa-Canto and Julio R. Banga have developed a model for studying biological systems based on the identification of “underlying principles of optimality”. And in their 2018 Bioinformatics article, they interviewed leading researchers who also demonstrated the predictive power of the optimality hypothesis:

Sutherland (2005) argues that these optimality principles allow biology to move from a simple explanation of models or mechanisms to the ability to make predictions from first principles. Bialek (2017) insists that optimality assumptions should not be adopted for aesthetic reasons, but as an approach that can be directly tested by quantitative experiments. Mathematical optimization could therefore be considered as a fundamental research tool in bioinformatics and in the biology of computational systems.

Other researchers have even shown that biological systems such as DNA replication and translation, embryological development and sensory processes operate with efficiencies close to the limits of what is physically possible. Human engineering is nothing compared to such achievements.

The great preponderance of evidence corresponds to the design-based prediction of optimality. And this directly contradicts a central prediction of any unguided theory of evolution. Will this evidence convince critics like Kitcher and Lents to rethink their point of view? Probably not since their faith in scientific materialism is not based on empirical evidence but on their philosophical beliefs. Fortunately, many biologists have allowed the evidence to point them in the right direction despite social pressures to maintain the status quo. These scientists will lead biology through the next great scientific revolution that has just begun.


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3 students got their hands dirty with scientific research this summer https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/3-students-got-their-hands-dirty-with-scientific-research-this-summer/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/3-students-got-their-hands-dirty-with-scientific-research-this-summer/#respond Tue, 24 Aug 2021 20:28:14 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/3-students-got-their-hands-dirty-with-scientific-research-this-summer/ Research in biology and chemistry: Fungal populations, DNA protective chromatin and plastic ingredients This summer, three undergraduates get their hands dirty with scientific research: growing mushrooms, studying yeast DNA, and observing the movements of molecules. Immaculata’s biology and chemistry professors have discussed possible research topics with these three students and offer guidance as the students […]]]>

Research in biology and chemistry: Fungal populations, DNA protective chromatin and plastic ingredients

This summer, three undergraduates get their hands dirty with scientific research: growing mushrooms, studying yeast DNA, and observing the movements of molecules. Immaculata’s biology and chemistry professors have discussed possible research topics with these three students and offer guidance as the students hypothesize, develop and follow research procedures, and collect data. Students gain experience useful for their resumes and refine their career goals and graduate plans.

What types of mushrooms grow in campus compost?

Research student : Sydnie Panetta ’22, major in biology

The project: During composting, microbes and fungi break down solid organic matter into usable material for plant growth. Factors such as the method of composting and the ingredients that go into the compost cause different types of fungal communities to grow.

Biology professor Sister Susan Cronin, IHM, Ph.D., produces compost by stacking leaves, grass, eggshells and plant waste in bins and stirring periodically to promote decomposition. Sydnie used cotton swabs to take samples from the compost bins. She then stamped plaques indicating the growing organisms and incubated the plaques to see which fungal populations would grow.

Initially, Sydnie used cellulose as a growing medium, but she struggled to grow mushrooms on this material consistently. Cellulose, a hard substance that strengthens plant cell walls, must break down for plant material to break down into compost. Sydnie switched to a more general medium of yeast, peptone and dextrose, which provided an ideal environment for the growth of the fungi.

Sydnie extracted fungal DNA from her samples, then performed polymerase chain reactions (PCR), which amplify a small section of DNA into many copies. She will send the DNA to a company for genetic sequencing and can then match the results to DNA in a database to identify fungal populations.

Why is this important: This large project can be used to answer a variety of questions, Sydnie says, such as how different fungal species interact and whether temperature or location affects the rate of decay or the fungal communities that thrive.

Sydnie kept the dormant mushroom samples in the lab refrigerator so that once she identified them, she could continue testing to see which ones degrade cellulose or to explore other research questions. Future students can continue with the project.

Lessons learned: When the fungus stopped growing on Sydnie’s cellulosic medium, she had to find alternatives. “Research won’t always go as planned, so it was good to say, ‘It’s not working. How can we do it another way? ‘ Sydnie comments. “I was talking to Sister Susan and she was like, ‘This is all part of the research, and you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s just part of the way it goes. Sydnie also enjoyed gaining experience with lab equipment, learning how to perform PCRs, and fabricate the culture medium.

Future goals and interests: “This project also helped me get to know myself better,” Sydnie recalls. “There is nothing more that I enjoy than being in the microbiology lab. She enjoys problem-solving and research, and explores graduate programs in microbiology or public health with an emphasis on infectious disease control.

Does Chromatin Protect DNA From Harmful Chemicals?

Research student : Julianna Rotondo ’22, major in biology

The project: Chromatin packs long DNA molecules into tight coils that can fit into cell nuclei. The structure of chromatin can change from compact to extensive, which affects DNA replication and gene expression.

Condensed chromatin protects DNA, preventing most proteins from accessing it. Julianna and her mentor Dan Ginsburg, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, wondered if the chromatin in a strain of yeast would also protect DNA from harmful agents.

Julianna added different reagents to two samples of a yeast culture to change the yeast chromatin structure. One reagent, a pesticide, disassembled and opened the chromatin, and another reagent protected the chromatin and kept it compact. Julianna then exposed the two samples to two different DNA-damaging carcinogens, placed the cultures on culture medium, and counted the yeast colonies that developed.

She hypothesized that carcinogens would cause more damage to the culture with open chromatin. “These plaques should show less growth,” commented Julianna, “because the chromatin opening reagent should allow the damaging reagent more direct access to DNA (which kills cells).” Conversely, Julianna predicted that plates treated with the Chromatin Protective Reagent would show greater growth of the yeast colonies, as their DNA should have been protected and allowed to multiply. “By putting the data into Excel, we can graph the number of colonies to see if the results match what would be expected,” Julianna said.

Why is this important: So far, the difference in yeast growth suggests that chromatin appears to make DNA less susceptible to damage. The discovery could help pave the way for treatments that keep chromatin in a compact state to protect DNA when a cell is exposed to harmful chemicals.

Lessons learned: In addition to learning the structure of chromatin, Julianna learned new techniques, equipment and laboratory protocols. She also gained experience in collecting and analyzing data using Excel.

Future goals and interests: Julianna will continue her project this year, studying how well chromatin protects DNA against other harmful agents. At first, Julianna thought the research would be intimidating. “I actually really enjoy it, which I hadn’t expected, and I can’t wait to come to the lab to do some research. For the future of my career, I want to be a genetic counselor, and there are options for research positions that I hadn’t considered before.

What materials are the different plastics made of?

Research student : Ilyse Gorman ’22, major in chemistry and secondary education

The project: Ilyse works to identify ingredients in different colors and classifications of plastics by studying how their molecules react to infrared energy. “Molecules have different vibrational states when infrared energy hits them,” Ilyse explained. Their vibrational energy can be represented as peaks on a graph, and each molecule has a distinctive “fingerprint” peak that Ilyse uses to locate materials in plastics.

Jiangyue (Luna) Zhang, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, and Sister Rose Mulligan, IHM, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, invited Ilyse to participate in this project and helped her achieve the Clare Prize. Boothe Luce Undergraduate Research Scholar Award, a scholarship for women in science and education.

Ilyse is using two different machines for this project, the Reva Raman spectrometer, a newer instrument in undergraduate labs, and an infrared (IR) spectrometer, both of which use infrared energy to interact with molecules. “Raman spectroscopy and IR spectroscopy complement each other, as each detects areas of identical but also different vibrational energies,” said Sister Rose. Ilyse compares the graphs of the two machines and uses the IR spectrometer, a more commonly used tool, to confirm her guesses about the types of plastic she is scanning.

“I also have some unknown plastics that I run through machines to see if I can figure out what it is,” Ilyse said. She can compare graphs of known plastics with unknowns to see if their peaks match and indicate which molecules might be in unknown plastics.

Why is this important: “The ability to identify plastics quickly, in a non-destructive manner, is useful for recycling and forensic purposes,” Sister Rose commented. Not all plastics have a recycling number, and facilities need to know how to categorize and handle materials. Some plastics are easy to recycle, Ilyse said, while others, like PVC, must undergo a special process to break down components and handle toxic byproducts safely. Forensic pathologists may also benefit from the ability to identify plastics at crime scenes to help them gather evidence.

Lessons learned: Ilyse learned to use a graphics program to batch process large amounts of data into a simplified format for analysis. She also writes a lab procedure for undergraduate forensic science students to learn how to test and classify plastics. Students will use the spectrometers to analyze known and unknown plastics, compare the results, and identify molecules in the unknown material.

Future goals and interests: Ilyse says her research efforts inspired her to get her future high school chemistry students to start doing mini-projects to get their first experience. “I want to get them the idea of ​​doing research before you go to college, so they can start thinking about it sooner,” Ilyse explained. “It makes them more independent in their education.”


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How Changing Your Diet Can Help Save the Planet https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/how-changing-your-diet-can-help-save-the-planet/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/how-changing-your-diet-can-help-save-the-planet/#respond Mon, 23 Aug 2021 23:00:42 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/how-changing-your-diet-can-help-save-the-planet/ Food is, of course, fundamental to life. But in a perhaps ironic twist, the things we eat fuel some of the greatest threats to the survival of humanity. A growing body of evidence has shown that our industrialized food production systems are a source of pollution, a contributor to climate change and a cause of […]]]>

Food is, of course, fundamental to life.

But in a perhaps ironic twist, the things we eat fuel some of the greatest threats to the survival of humanity. A growing body of evidence has shown that our industrialized food production systems are a source of pollution, a contributor to climate change and a cause of biodiversity loss.

You can help change that, however. Here are 10 simple things you can do today to reduce the environmental impact of your diet.

1. Understand food as a process, not as a product

People often see food on a grocery store shelf and don’t think much about how it got there.

But between the farm and the plate, food must be processed, packaged, transported, marketed and sold. Many of these steps can be damaging to the planet. When you consider the entire food system, you are in a better position to make informed choices about the things you eat.

2. Support sustainable agriculture

Buy your food from producers and retailers specializing in sustainable products.

Sustainable agriculture uses up to 56% less energy, generates 64% less greenhouse gas emissions and allows greater biodiversity than conventional agriculture. And because sustainably produced products are generally more labor-intensive, they can create 30% more jobs, demand higher prices, and generate higher incomes.

3. Know what you are eating

Pesticides, herbicides and antimicrobial drugs are often used to increase crop and livestock yields, but can have adverse effects on human health. Discharges from farms can also contaminate aquatic ecosystems and pollute soils.

Read labels, ask questions and do your research to find out where food comes from and how it is produced. Choose whole foods from sustainable agriculture rather than intensively farmed and highly processed foods when you can. Prepare meals at home, instead of buying take out.

4. Plant your own garden

Growing your own produce eliminates the need for chemicals like pesticides, packaging, preservatives, fuel for transport and cold chain storage. Fruits, vegetables and herbs in their most natural form are also the most nutritious. They’re rich in vitamins with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects – and relatively inexpensive.

Get your neighbors and friends involved in building a community garden. Grow fruits and vegetables around your house, on your balcony, or on your window sill.

5. Buy local

In addition to supporting small businesses and farms, purchasing locally produced food reduces fossil fuel emissions associated with cold chain transport and storage. It also reduces the potential for food loss along the way.

Building relationships with local producers and retailers is a way to understand how your food was produced, to engage in dialogue, to voice your concerns, and to exchange ideas.

6. Eat a diet rich in plants

The demand for resource-intensive animal protein has increased dramatically in recent years. Currently, about 60 percent of the world’s agricultural land is used for grazing livestock, and people in many countries consume more food of animal origin than is healthy.

Switching to plant-rich diets would use less land, produce less greenhouse gases, require less water and improve animal welfare. It would also provide more cultivated land, which is crucial with the world’s population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Switching to a diet rich in plants could also help reduce chronic diseases, such as heart disease. , strokes, diabetes and cancer, as well as costs associated with treatment and loss of income.

7. Diversify your diet

Diets around the world are increasingly homogeneous and based disproportionately on crops that are high in energy but low in macronutrients. Over the past 100 years, over 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared. Today, only nine plant species represent 66% of total agricultural production. Almost one in three people suffers from some form of malnutrition, with many countries facing simultaneous challenges of under-nutrition and overweight or obesity.

According to the EAT-Lancet Commission, eating a healthy diet with a variety of plant-based foods, and moving away from highly processed foods and diets high in refined grains and added sugar, could prevent up to a quarter of all adult deaths.

8. Reduce food waste

One third of all food produced is either lost or wasted. It’s not just in stores or restaurants and it’s not just in wealthy households. The United Nations Environment Program Food Waste Index report reveals that it is a global phenomenon that affects all income levels.

To reduce waste, plan ahead and only buy the food you know you will use. Enjoy every edible part of the food you buy. Measure portion sizes of rice and other staples before cooking, store foods properly (use your freezer if you have one), be creative with leftovers, share extras with friends and neighbors, and contribute to a local food sharing program. Finally, make compost from inedible scraps and use it to fertilize your garden.

9. Avoid unnecessary packaging

Food packaging tends to end up in landfills and every year around 5,000 billion single-use plastic bags pollute the land and sea.

Whenever possible, choose unpackaged, durably or lightly packaged food products. Use baskets for shopping, take reusable or cloth bags with you, and store food in glass jars or wrap in beeswax or other durable materials.

10. Make your voice heard

The world spends an estimated $ 1 million per minute subsidizing existing food systems, distorting markets, hampering change, and harming human and environmental health.

Call on governments and policymakers to drive a transition to sustainable agriculture and prioritize reducing food loss and waste in their climate change action plans. Call for transparency from producers, retailers and services on agricultural practices, ingredients and their nutritional values.

Finally, be an advocate in your own social circles. Use your social media platforms to share information, recipes, ideas and inspiration. Finally, form networks, launch projects, raise your voice.

UN Environment


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Why this “molecule of interest” may provide a new treatment for depression https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/why-this-molecule-of-interest-may-provide-a-new-treatment-for-depression/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/why-this-molecule-of-interest-may-provide-a-new-treatment-for-depression/#respond Sun, 22 Aug 2021 14:00:25 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/why-this-molecule-of-interest-may-provide-a-new-treatment-for-depression/ FDA approval and the emergence of selective serotonin absorption inhibitors (SSRIs) in the late 1980s transformed psychiatry. Finally, there was an effective and inexpensive drug for depression, one of the world’s leading causes of disability. Today, SSRIs are among the most prescribed drugs. However, as scientists report in a recent article published in the Journal […]]]>

FDA approval and the emergence of selective serotonin absorption inhibitors (SSRIs) in the late 1980s transformed psychiatry. Finally, there was an effective and inexpensive drug for depression, one of the world’s leading causes of disability. Today, SSRIs are among the most prescribed drugs.

However, as scientists report in a recent article published in the Journal of Neuroscience, interest in SSRIs within the research community has waned. This is because these drugs, known by brand names like Prozac and Zoloft, exhibit “variable clinical effectiveness” – they don’t work for everyone. A growing number of people suffer from treatment-resistant depression, or TRD.

This sparked a revolution in mental health research, prompting scientists to explore taboo substances like ketamine and MDMA as therapies for depression.

But in the Journal of Neuroscience paper, researchers at Imperial College London and the University of South Carolina argue that one way forward does not necessarily mean counting SSRIs, but fine-tuning their application. Their argument stems from one of the most basic reactions the body experiences: inflammation.

Why? The study team found that histamines, molecules involved in the immune system and found in the brain, are an important link between depression and inflammation due to their effect on serotonin. In the long term – and more research is needed to be sure – this work suggests that antidepressants like SSRIs may work more effectively for some when paired with new drugs that lower histamine in the brain.

Histamine, explains co-author, post-doctoral fellow and project leader student Melinda Hersey, plays a role in both mediating the immune response (such as the release of cytokines) and the ability to modulate monoamine neurotransmitters. (like serotonin) which is believed to be impaired in people with depression.

It is “an important molecule of interest”, she says Reverse. And it’s a bridge between two competing ideas for the cause and treatment of depression.

Competing depression hypotheses

To understand why the histamine connection is new, you need to know the two classic hypotheses of depression: the monoamine hypothesis and the cytokine hypothesis. (These are eloquently explained in an accompanying review written by Hersey and colleagues in the European Journal of Neuroscience.)

1. The monoamine hypothesis of depression

This is the explanation for depression that you are probably familiar with. It’s the idea that monoamines – the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine – are deregulated during depression. This theory arose when researchers examined the blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid of depressed patients and found that monoamines and their metabolites were reduced.

This hypothesis is also supported by the fact that SSRIs still work for many. These drugs are designed to allow serotonin to circulate in the brain longer and improve mood. Yet there is a growing appreciation that for some people SSRIs are not helpful enough and / or come with unwanted side effects.

“There is an emerging appreciation that the heterogeneity of response to antidepressant drugs that target the monoamine system reflects the overall heterogeneity of depressive illness,” the team writes.

2. The cytokine hypothesis of depression

Studies also indicate that pro-inflammatory cytokines are a factor in the development and progression of depression. Historically, scientists believed that the brain was not influenced by cytokines, because of the blood-brain barrier. (Inflammatory cytokines signal molecules that promote inflammation.)

Now, researchers know he’s not immune: Inflammatory cytokines can influence brain chemistry associated with psychiatric disorders.

Meanwhile, a number of diseases characterized by chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are now understood to be accompanied by depression. Depression itself is associated with a chronic low-grade inflammatory response.

“It’s pretty well established that depression is associated with inflammation, as most patients with depression have also been shown to have high markers of inflammation,” Hersey explains.

An acute immune response known to produce “disease behavior” in humans and rodents is also accompanied by “symptoms that reflect depression or depressive-like phenotypes,” Hersey adds.

Depressed patients with severe inflammation are among the most likely to not respond to SSRIs.

But two factors prevent an “a-ha” moment: this inflammation hypothesis alone cannot “sufficiently explain the pathophysiological depression”. SSRIs also have anti-inflammatory properties.

What is possible, argues the study team, is that these hypotheses overlap.

Enter the histamines, to the left of the stage.

The experience – The team had a hunch that it was the relationship between serotonin and histamine that made it difficult for people with DRT to benefit from SSRIs.

So they took mice and implanted biocompatible microelectrodes measuring serotonin in the hippocampus of their brain. This allowed scientists to measure the levels of serotonin in the brain without harming the brain.

Then, half of the mice were injected with an inflammation-causing toxin, the rest being left as a control. Within minutes, brain serotonin levels dropped in the injected mice. Because this toxin is known to be unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, it was clear that it was not the direct cause.

What could cause the drop, however, is histamine: Analysis found that the inflammatory response triggered the release of histamine, which in turn attached to neurons and inhibited the release of serotonin.

When they gave SSRIs to the mice, they still couldn’t increase serotonin levels. It was not until the administration of histamine-lowering drugs that serotonin levels returned to normal. (These drugs are not the same as antihistamines.)

What happens after – While this work is considered preclinical data – it involved mice, not humans – the team is hopeful that it can eventually provide a new route of treatment, taking the form of therapy targeting both histamine. and serotonin. They want to “alleviate depressive symptoms, even in people with treatment-resistant depression,” says Hersey.

The next chapter will focus on three main areas, she says:

  1. Explore how chronic inflammation can affect the serotonin-histamine relationship
  2. Perform an in-depth characterization of histamine in the brain
  3. Observation of the dynamics of histamine and serotonin in human stem cells

But questions remain, including a chicken-and-egg situation: Does inflammation lead to depression, or does depression lead to inflammation?

It’s probably both. Depression, explains Hersey, “is a very heterogeneous disease”, so it is possible that “the pathology of the disease can evolve in various ways on a case-by-case basis.”


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Former CDC Director Redfield: Hiding children should be based on data, not CDC opinion https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/former-cdc-director-redfield-hiding-children-should-be-based-on-data-not-cdc-opinion/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/former-cdc-director-redfield-hiding-children-should-be-based-on-data-not-cdc-opinion/#respond Sun, 22 Aug 2021 08:23:42 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/former-cdc-director-redfield-hiding-children-should-be-based-on-data-not-cdc-opinion/ Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, attended “Story” on Monday to discuss the nationwide increase in coronavirus cases. Virologists tell host Martha MacCallum that the United States is “very clear” in the midst of a significant increase in infection, and that delta mutants are more infectious and “very easy” […]]]>

Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, attended “Story” on Monday to discuss the nationwide increase in coronavirus cases.

Virologists tell host Martha MacCallum that the United States is “very clear” in the midst of a significant increase in infection, and that delta mutants are more infectious and “very easy” than British mutants. is.”

The former CDC director also raised the possibility that the children will not return to school and receive distance education for another year. Even during the initial shutdown, the public health concern of kindergarten through high school students was to “keep children face to face,” he said. -Learning of the face. “

“Virtual learning has had a number of negative consequences for public health. I think it’s imperative that we do everything we can to bring our kids back to face-to-face learning and stay there.

DR.Nicole Saphier: CDC, Kids, Masks – COVID advice continues to be missed Mark

Redfield then took aim at the CDC’s advice on hiding children in school and said policies should be “based on data, not opinions” if there were studies supporting their recommendations. ..

“There are few really convincing studies in this classroom setting.”

“For example, one of the things that I think is important in the classroom is how to identify silent epidemics, so in many jurisdictions that do, it is advisable to have regular student tests twice a week. To find out who is asymptomatic and to get out of the infectious cycle. ”

McCallum then criticized the CDC for failing to conduct scientific research to support its recommendation to keep children masked and asked Redfield where the data was.

“That’s a fair review,” agreed Redfield. “In the Wall Street Journal, they talked about $ 42 billion in NIH funding, and I think less than 2% had COVID. These are important questions. Regular screening twice a week at school is at school. How to limit the infection of the disease? Are you wearing a mask or not? I think this is not a general obligation and should be decided locally, especially. If there is no data, ”he said.

“Like I said before, I think the mask is better than the vaccination that didn’t work for you,” Redfield continued. “It’s because I’m convinced that, as some have said, the best way to protect children in school is to state that universal masking is possible. Not. “

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Redfield went on to express his thoughts on the origin of the coronavirus.

Public calls to investigate the hypothesis of the Wuhan lab leak, which was once rejected in China, have mushroomed, and many said there was no new evidence to suggest the coronavirus had evolved to from nature as a plot.

“We saw more and more evidence that this was in fact the result of a lab leak. Thus, of the two hypotheses, a laboratory leak is at the origin of the virus. I still believe this is the most likely. “

“This pandemic is tragic in a way because it is not necessarily natural, it is caused by science. I was very disappointed to see the scientific community unable to approach both hypotheses with an open mind. I think as a virologist I believed the virus could come from the lab, so I was on the sidelines and threatened very quickly and actually made some sort of exit, ”Redfield said. Concluded.

Former CDC Director Redfield: Hiding children should be based on data, not CDC opinion

Source link Former CDC Director Redfield: Hiding children should be based on data, not CDC opinion


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“Climate change is not an opinion, science is not an opinion” https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/climate-change-is-not-an-opinion-science-is-not-an-opinion/ https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/climate-change-is-not-an-opinion-science-is-not-an-opinion/#respond Mon, 09 Aug 2021 05:34:51 +0000 https://michiganparanormalencounters.com/climate-change-is-not-an-opinion-science-is-not-an-opinion/ Recent times have highlighted the difficulty of sharing scientific data. What is the translation of this? Pierre Lina The French judgment on the flag is contradictory. Scientific discoveries interest them and even fascinate them. At the same time, the lack of confidence in science is evident. It is clear that the Covid-19 epidemic has reinforced […]]]>

Recent times have highlighted the difficulty of sharing scientific data. What is the translation of this?

Pierre Lina The French judgment on the flag is contradictory. Scientific discoveries interest them and even fascinate them. At the same time, the lack of confidence in science is evident. It is clear that the Covid-19 epidemic has reinforced this. It was possible to see a science in the making, a science which had not yet built a solid, which could not say: This is what works. This emerging science has become a topic of conversation. We see swings, live ego struggles, some speak in white, some say in black, and we don’t know who to believe. This has led to the misconception that science is opinion. It also made the knowledge validation process invisible. All of this breeds mistrust.

Has the same phenomenon happened to climate science, which has long faced doubts about the reality of global warming?

Pierre Lina Charney presented the groundbreaking essay on greenhouse gases in a 1979 report. He has already described what has been analyzed in more detail over the next forty years. Of course, what he said triggered the need for verification. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been doing this since its inception in 1988. But what was hunch turned into solid knowledge. Climate change is not an opinion. Science in general is not an opinion. It is laborious, and sometimes hesitant, teamwork that involves making assumptions and taking the time to verify them. This construction allows us to establish the truth. Not the truth, science is not dogmatic, but the truth, that is to say, solid elements on which we can rely. When we get on an airplane, we rely on fluid mechanics, on the strength of materials… that confidence is based on the fact that when data is generated for good, it appears as fact. The same goes for the weather: it is just as important as the fact that a plane is flying.

Discussions are always lively on the changes to be made to remedy this …

Today the science of Pierre Lina is a great source of transformation in our societies. This is particularly the case with climate change. What it teaches us requires that we make decisions that affect our lifestyle, consumption and mobility. However, this change and the speed with which it is being asked to do so is of concern. However, these choices are no longer the responsibility of producing solids: they belong to the realm of ethics, application, action, values ​​and justice. Is it good or bad, human or inhuman to do this or that action? It is not for science to decide whether to choose between an explosion in the number of climate refugees or preserving the profits of any particular enterprise. Vaccination against Covid also presents us with crucial choices. This, for example, was promoted by the World Health Organization to use global immunization capacities to help poor countries rather than providing a third dose or immunizing children in rich countries. It all comes down to ethical questions. It questions the values ​​that are at the source of political and economic choices.


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