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Image: gene structure; Copyright: PantherMedia / krishna creations

Analyses of genome data enables tracking of avian influenza viruses

10/08/2020

An international consortium succeeded in tracking the genesis and spread of new reassortants of avian influenza viruses by the use of mathematical analyses. This large-scale international study has now been published in the scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).
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Image: CT image of the human thorax; Copyright: PantherMedia/stockdevil_666

Training algorithms to identify COVID-19 in CT scans

07/08/2020

As COVID-19 cases in the United States continue to surge, there is an ongoing search for quick and reliable testing. Though there are conflicting opinions on using chest computerized tomography (CT) scans as a method of screening in the United States, the technology has been successfully used to identify the disease in other parts of the world.
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Image: A ventilation bag that is connected to a machine with different meters; Copyright: University of California San Diego

Office of Naval Research helps develop ventilators in fight against COVID-19

06/08/2020

One of the most dangerous effects of coronavirus is the inability to breathe on your own - requiring the help of a ventilator to push air through your lungs. Consequently, the severity of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in ventilator shortages, causing some hospitals to assign multiple patients to one machine, limiting effective treatment.
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Image: A child in the ICU next to a ventilator; Copyright: PantherMedia/beerkoff1

Lab profiles differentiate MIS-C from COVID-19 in children

06/08/2020

Findings show that MIS-C is a post-infectious syndrome distinct from Kawasaki disease and may help guide treatment decisions.
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Image: woman in the laboratory; Copyright: RUB, Marquard

Sars-Cov-2: rapid test for the determination of antibodies

31/07/2020

To determine immunity to Sars-Cov-2 and the effectiveness of potential vaccines, the amount of neutralising antibodies in the blood of recovered or vaccinated individuals must be determined. A traditional neutralisation test usually takes two to three days and must be carried out with infectious coronaviruses in a laboratory complying to biosafety level 3.
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Image: Man with protective gear puts something into a big canister; Copyright: University of Missouri

Disinfection: 'corny' solution fights the spread of the novel coronavirus

28/07/2020

Inside the Mizzou Asphalt Pavement and Innovation Lab at University of Missouri College of Engineering, Bill Buttlar normally leads a research team developing innovative ways to build better roads and stronger bridges. However, he's recently converted his lab to also produce an ethanol-based hand sanitizer for use during the COVID-19 pandemic to help with the increase in demand for the product.
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Image: woman with face mask holding a smartphone with the corona tracking app; Copyright: PantherMedia/Arne Trautmann

Coronavirus: tracking symptoms with app an inexact predictor of infection

28/07/2020

A new piece in Family Practice, published by Oxford University Press, indicates that tracking symptoms affiliated with the novel coronavirus through an app may not be a good predictor of the spread of the disease.
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Image: A white medical face mask is coming out of a production line; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPT

Personal protective equipment: ramping up medical mask production to 50,000 pieces per day

22/07/2020

Necessity is the mother of invention: While many companies have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, some were able to find the hidden business opportunities the unique situation has created. One example of how companies can benefit from the Covid-19 crisis is the production of medical protective gear.
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Image: laboratoy testing of biomarkers; Copyright: PantherMedia / sven hoppe

Revealing lung disease with exhaled biomarkers

21/07/2020

Using specialized nanoparticles, MIT engineers have developed a way to monitor pneumonia or other lung diseases by analyzing the breath exhaled by the patient. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that they could use this system to monitor bacterial pneumonia, as well as a genetic disorder of the lungs called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
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Image: Colored and computer-generated images of tthe two lungs; Copyright: American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)

CT of COVID-19 versus CT of influenza virus pneumonia

15/07/2020

An open-access American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) article investigating the differences in CT findings between coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia and influenza virus pneumonia found that most lesions from COVID-19 were located in the peripheral zone and close to the pleura, whereas influenza virus was more prone to show mucoid impaction and pleural effusion.
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Image: Picture collage of a silicone rubber face mask with filters; Copyright: MIT/Brigham and Women's Hospital

Engineers design a reusable, silicone rubber face mask

14/07/2020

Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have designed a new face mask that they believe could stop viral particles as effectively as N95 masks. Unlike N95 masks, the new masks were designed to be easily sterilized and used many times.
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Image: Facemasks of different shape, color and material; Copyright: PantherMedia/Maridav (YAYMicro)

Masks: the best (and worst) materials

13/07/2020

It is intuitive and scientifically shown that wearing a face covering can help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But not all masks are created equal, according to new University of Arizona-led research.
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Image: A man is opening and repairing a wall-mounted air condition device; Copyright: PantherMedia/VadimVasenin

Researchers create air filter that can kill the coronavirus

13/07/2020

Researchers from the University of Houston, in collaboration with others, have designed a "catch and kill" air filter that can trap the virus responsible for COVID-19, killing it instantly.
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Image: elderly man holding his smartphone while making a voice message; Copyright: PantherMedia/lakshmiprasad (YAYMicro)

COVID-19: chatbots can ease medical providers' burden

09/07/2020

COVID-19 has placed tremendous pressure on health care systems, not only for critical care but also from an anxious public looking for answers. Research found that chatbots – software applications that conduct online chats via text or text-to-speech – working for reputable organizations can ease the burden on medical providers and offer trusted guidance to those with symptoms.
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Image: Two people wearing protective suits stand next to a workbench in a laboratory; Copyright: Fraunhofer IBMT/Foto Bernd Müller

epiLab: Coronavirus testing in the mobile safety laboratory

08/07/2020

A key to preventing SARS-CoV-2 spread is frequent, comprehensive testing. This allows the early detection of infections and helps break the chain of infection. It always comes down to Coronavirus testing capacity. In Germany's southwest state of Saarland, the mobile epiLab (epidemiological laboratory) supports the search for infections lurking in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
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Image: three persons around a computer showing a video call with a physician and radiological images of a chest; Copyright: PantherMedia/DragonImages

Telehealth: important tool for rural hospitals in treating COVID-19

06/07/2020

Rural hospitals are more likely than urban facilities to have access to telehealth, a once-underused service that now is playing a key role in treating coronavirus patients, according to research by two health administration professors in Florida Atlantic University's College of Business.
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Image: graphic of cell membrane on a chip; Copyright: Susan Daniel/Cornell University

Cell membrane on a chip to speed up screening of drug candidates for COVID-19

06/07/2020

Researchers have developed a human cell 'membrane on a chip' that allows continuous monitoring of how drugs and infectious agents interact with our cells, and may soon be used to test potential drug candidates for COVID-19.
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Image: 'Mini-brain' bioengineered from human stem cells; Copyright: Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Organoids suggest COVID-19 virus can infect human brain cells

02/07/2020

A multidisciplinary team from two Johns Hopkins University institutions, including neurotoxicologists and virologists from the Bloomberg School of Public Health and infectious disease specialists from the school of medicine, has found that organoids known as "mini-brains" can be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
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Image: point-of-care diagnostic system; Copyright: NUS Institute for Health Innovation & Technology

Portable COVID-19 diagnostic system for rapid on-site testing

29/06/2020

COVID-19 screening can soon be conducted directly at various testing stations, and patients can get their test results in about an hour from the time they get a nasal swab. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a portable COVID-19 micro-PCR diagnostic system that enables rapid and accurate on-site screening of infectious diseases.
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Image: A female researcher in a protectic suit is working at a laboratory safety bench; Copyright: Sierra Downs, courtesy of the Griffiths Lab/BU NEIDL

Tiny decoy sponges attract coronavirus away from lung cells

25/06/2020

Imagine if scientists could stop the coronavirus infection in its tracks simply by diverting its attention away from living lung cells? A new therapeutic countermeasure, announced in a Nano Letters study by researchers from Boston University's National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) and the University of California San Diego, appears to do just that in experiments.
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Image: Two gloved hands are holding a vial of blood with the label

Biomarkers show clear signs of brain injury with severe COVID-19

23/06/2020

Certain patients who receive hospital care for coronavirus infection (COVID-19) exhibit clinical and neurochemical signs of brain injury, a University of Gothenburg study shows. In even moderate COVID-19 cases, finding and measuring a blood-based biomarker for brain damage proved to be possible.
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Image: man running in a lane on a sports field; Copyright: PantherMedia/stetsik

A Safe Return to Sports amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

22/06/2020

After professional sports and other sporting activities had been drastically limited to prevent COVID-19 spread, training facilities are now reopening to welcome recreational and competitive athletes. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, restrictions are still in place to lower the risk of human infection. EFSMA presents recommendations on a uniform approach to keeping athletes safe.
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Image: Paul McCray and Stanley Perlman in their laboratory; Copyright: University of Iowa Health Care

Off-the-shelf tool for making mouse models of COVID-19

19/06/2020

Until there are effective treatments or vaccines, the COVID-19 pandemic will remain a significant threat to public health and economies around the world. A major hurdle to developing and testing new anti-viral therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 is the lack of good, widely available animal models of the disease.
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Image: symbolic abstract image for Big Data; Copyright: National Center for Translational Sciences

Analytics platform to harness COVID-19 patient data

17/06/2020

The National Institutes of Health has launched a centralized, secure enclave to store and study vast amounts of medical record data from people diagnosed with coronavirus disease across the country. It is part of an effort, called the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), to help scientists analyze these data to understand the disease and develop treatments.
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Image: health care workers with elastomeric masks; Copyright: Highmark Health

Elastomeric masks more durable and less costly option

15/06/2020

A cost-effective strategy for health care systems to offset N95 mask shortages due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is to switch to reusable elastomeric respirator masks, according to new study results. These long-lasting masks, often used in industry and construction, cost at least 10 times less per month than disinfecting and reusing N95 masks meant to be for single use.
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Image: graphic depiction of virus cell in the lungs; Copyright: ATS

COVID-19: reducing severe breathlessness and psychological trauma

08/06/2020

A new paper published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society examines ventilation and medication strategies that can help avoid psychological trauma for severe COVID-19 survivors treated for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with mechanical ventilation.
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Image: Blurred image of a child that is pushed into a CT; Copyright: PantherMedia/Jayjaynaenae

CT findings of COVID-19 in children 'often negative'

02/06/2020

Largest case series (n=30) to date yields high frequency (77%) of negative chest CT findings among pediatric patients (10 months-18 years) with COVID-19, while also suggesting common findings in subset of children with positive CT findings.
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Image: particles from a simple breath test behind a petri dish with chips ins it; Copyright: Ben-Gurion University

One minute electro-optical coronavirus test

29/05/2020

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Prof. Gabby Sarusi has developed a one-minute electro-optical test of nose, throat or breath samples that will identify both asymptomatic and affected carriers of the COVID-19 virus in under one minute with greater than 90 percent accuracy.
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Image: Prototype of the UVC LED irradiation system; Copyright: FBH/P. Immerz

Fighting hospital germs with UVC light-emitting diodes

26/05/2020

According to the RKI, 400,000 to 600,000 infections with hospital germs occur in Germany every year – about 10,000 to 20,000 people die from them. Since MDR pathogens often cannot be treated with antibiotics, alternative approaches are needed. One promising physical principle is irradiation with UVC light, which can be used to destroy microorganisms without allowing resistances to develop.
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Image: graphic of pathogens; Copyright: Arek Socha / Pixabay

Hygiene: nano technologies to tackle infection

25/05/2020

Next-gen nano technologies that can prevent infection and diagnose disease are set to transform the medical industry as this important UniSA research is awarded more than $2 million dollars under the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2021 Investigator Grants.
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Image: small portable device next to tennis ball; Copyright: Nishiyama K. et al., Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. April 21, 2020

COVID-19: technology can detect anti-virus antibody in 20 minutes

25/05/2020

Researchers have succeeded in detecting anti-avian influenza virus antibody in blood serum within 20 minutes, using a portable analyzer they have developed to conduct rapid on-site bio tests. If a suitable reagent is developed, this technology could be used to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19.
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Image: A female researcher with face mask, gloves and cap puts an object slide on a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/Kzenon

Laboratory work: the right personal protective equipment is crucial

01/04/2020

When working with infectious materials and organisms in the laboratory, safe handling and appropriate training are of utmost importance. Another central component is personal protective equipment designed to prevent contact with tissue, liquids and aerosols and protect the wearer.
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Image: Researcher with gloves and protective suit is working at a microscope; Copyright: PantherMedia/EvgeniyShkolenko

BSL-4 laboratories: highest levels of safety and protection

01/04/2020

Laboratories are sectioned into four biosafety levels to dictate the precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents. The highest level of biological safety, BSL-4, is perhaps the most well-known when we think of containing pathogens and microbes. However, the fewest number of laboratories actually fall into the BSL-4 category.
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Image: A researcher sits at a laboratory bench and puts gloves at his hands; Copyright: PantherMedia/dragana.stock@gmail.com

The safe laboratory – protection through technology

01/04/2020

When biomedical researchers or diagnosticians work with potentially contagious materials like cell cultures, blood or tissue, they need absolute protection from pathogens. Both safety measures in the workspace and the correct tools and materials are key here. Learn in our Topic of the Month what is important for protection in the lab and what a safe laboratory looks like.
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Image: Microscope next to a screen showing pictures of bacteria cultures; Copyright: PantherMedia/shmeljov

Laboratory safety: infection prevention in the work area

01/04/2020

What goes in, must not come out - and must also not cause harm to anyone working inside the lab. That's perhaps a nice way of summing up "laboratory safety" in one sentence - at least wherever pathogens are handled in biological and medical settings. The necessary laboratory safety precautions primarily depend on what is waiting "inside".
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Disinfection methods of hospital drinking water - Fully automatic legionella prevention

31/03/2020

Besides hand hygiene, drinking water hygiene is also on the to-do list of every hospital. A lot of money is invested to clean water pipes and to destroy legionella germs. An alternative solution for mechanical and thermal control is water disinfection using an automatic machine.
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Image: UV Visual Lift; Copyright: by UVentions

Hygiene: Smart protection against pathogens like the coronavirus

23/03/2020

Germs such as bacteria, viruses or pathogenic fungi can spread from one person to another through direct contact when we shake hands or touch objects. People touch door handles and push elevator buttons in public places and constantly move in and out of spaces. Regular manual high-level disinfection is practically impossible. UVentions GmbH has found an intelligent solution for this problem.
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Image: patient with pain in fingers; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Milkos

APRICOT-project: implant "help(s) patients heal themselves"

01/01/2020

Today, people tend to live longer, while an increasing number of patients suffer from osteoarthritis. Even younger generations are now at a higher risk of getting osteoarthritis due to the frequent use of mobile devices. The EU research project APRICOT aims to develop a novel type of implant for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands – helping patients heal themselves.
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Image: doctor consoles patients before surgery; Copyright: panthermedia.net/luckybusiness

Endoprosthetic surgery: modern and traditional approaches

01/01/2020

Surgery is required if you need an artificial joint. Patients and doctors must select the type of surgery that’s best suited and choose between robot-assisted, traditional or minimally invasive surgical approaches. Post-operative risks should be kept to a minimum, while benefits should outweigh any possible complications.
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Image: diagnostic test on a table; Copyright: beta web GmbH/Melanie Prüser

Single-use tests: sensitivity and easy use combined for diagnostics

12/12/2019

Diagnostic testing usually takes some time and a sterile environment to get the results. To cut down on the costs and effort spend on these tasks there are different diagnostic tests. One of them are single-use tests offered by SensDx S.A. The technology behind them not only makes the process faster and easier, but provides the opportunity to expand into home use in the future as well.
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Image: A physician is standing in front of a floating image of the brain and is touching one point; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Igor Vetushko

Medicine 5.0: machine learning algorithms in healthcare

04/11/2019

Artificial intelligence holds the promise of salvation when it comes to medicine: it is meant to unburden medical professionals, save time and money and perform tasks reliably and tirelessly. But before AI algorithms are allowed to diagnose diseases, many technical and ethical questions still need answers.
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Image: Flags are blowing in the wind to the backdrop of a dark evening sky; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

Medicine at the pulse of time: Innovations and trends at MEDICA 2019

04/11/2019

Soon, the world's largest trade fair for medical technology will open its doors again: More than 5.000 exhibitors will present their newest products and ideas at MEDICA from 18 to 21 November. You will not only meet well-known companies here, but also lots of young start-ups. Or, you can visit the MEDICA forums and conferences to experience a rich program of lectures and discussions.
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Image: A lab technician is using a pipette to fill a solution into a petri dish; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Arne Trautmann

Last-resort antibiotics: "We can identify carbapenemases within half an hour"

01/08/2019

Antibiotic resistance is modern medicine's greatest challenge. Some bacteria only respond to a handful of antibiotics, prompting hospitals to spend a lot of time finding an effective drug. That’s why it is critical for physicians to rapidly identify antibiotic resistance to avoid ineffective treatments.
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Image: Two petri dishes with different kinds of agar plates on which bacterial cultures are growing; Copyright: panthermedia.net/photographee.eu

Antibiotic resistance: technical tricks against pathogens

01/08/2019

An untreatable infection is a nightmare for physicians and potentially life-threatening to the patient. Unfortunately, more and more pathogens emerge that are resistant to drugs, especially antibiotics. We need to use our drugs smartly and come up with technical solutions as well to prevent our weapons from blunting in the future.
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Image: A greenly lit laboratory device; Copyright: Sven Döring

Photonics: "We want a rapid and easy method to identify pathogens and antibiotic resistance"

01/08/2019

The medical devices value chain has gaps between academic research and industrial practice that slow down innovation processes. This also applies to time-sensitive and urgently needed products such as rapid diagnostic tests to identify resistant pathogens. At the InfectoGnostics Research Campus in Jena, partners from research and medicine team up to close these gaps.
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Image: A man is holding a hand full of pill blisters with antibiotics; Copyright: panthermedia.net/alexkalina

Combating antibiotic resistance: One step ahead through technology

01/08/2019

Antibiotic resistance is on the rise in all parts of the world, complicating medical treatment of serious bacterial infections in patients. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 33,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Europe alone. Bacteria that are resistant to multiple or even all known antibiotics pose an ever-increasing threat.
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Image: Ellipsoid of revolution with a gold coating to detect backscattered photons from the skin tissue; Copyright: Sven Delbeck/Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Blood Sugar Monitoring: Using Infrared Instead of Invasive Techniques

22/03/2019

Over six million people in Germany have diabetes. It is estimated that almost 400 million people are affected by this disease worldwide. Diabetes sufferers must prick their fingers several times a day to monitor their blood sugar.
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Image: two men in the laboratory next to the Organ Care System with a pig's lung inside; Copyright: Kaiser/MHH

Organ Care System: treatment under extreme conditions

08/05/2018

Multidrug-resistant organisms that are treated with a dosage that exceeds the regular dose a hundred times and at temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius – the human organism is unable to handle it. Yet if the diseased organ is treated outside of the body, extreme conditions are an option. For the first time, physicians have succeeded in treating a severe case of pneumonia by using the OCS.
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