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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    addressing diseases that affect children According to the SPR the Young Investigator Award seeks to recognize past achievements and encourage the further ascendance of a research star In addition to individual recognition the award honors the department and institution responsible for creating and preserving a research environment conducive to profound research accomplishment Permar s work focuses on defining and eliciting immune responses at the maternal fetal interface that prevent vertical

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/permar_2.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Center for Microbial Pathogenesis
    to develop vaccines to try and prevent the bacterial infection Studies have shown that Salmonella can rapidly invade the body s cells and hinder the immune system from mounting responses against future infections by impeding the actions of specific immune cells or targeting the lymph nodes The rapid spread of Salmonella after breeching the gut barrier however suggests a more immediate mechanism for subverting the immune system An important component of the immune system is the mast cell a distinct type of immune cell that initiates an early response to combat and clear invading pathogens Mast cells are located in large numbers in the skin gut lung and bladder lining which are common sites for pathogens to enter and attack the body Upon encountering invading bacteria or viruses mast cells release large amounts of chemical signals which recruit various pathogen clearing immune cells from the blood to the site of infection However Salmonella has been shown to be an exception as mast cells do not clear the bacteria To learn how Salmonella handicaps mast cells Abraham and his colleagues studied Salmonella infection in mice They found that when mice were exposed to Salmonella via injection or oral administration a protein called Salmonella protein tyrosine phosphatase SptP shut down the mast cells ability to release chemical signals without impacting other cellular functions The researchers observed that SptP inactivated at least two key cellular components involved in exporting chemical signals out of mast cells As a result of the mast cells being unable to call for help immune cells were not recruited to the infection site allowing Salmonella to multiply and spread unchecked In another experiment the researchers administered SptP to mice infected with E coli a relatively innocuous type of bacteria With SptP suppressing the mast cells E coli was able

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/microbial/news/abraham_3.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership public education or community outreach Duke Medicine News and Communications reported that Permar was the senior author of a report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/permar_1.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    people they should be about 30 percent different said Matsunami who is also a member of the Neurobiology Graduate Program and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences There are many cases when you say you like the way something smells and other people don t That s very common Matsunami said But what the researchers found is that no two people smell things the same way We found that individuals can be very different at the receptor levels meaning that when we smell something the receptors that are activated can be very different from one person to the next depending on your genome The study didn t look at the promoter regions of the genes which are highly variable or gene copy number variation which is very high in odor receptors so the 30 percent figure for the difference between individuals is probably conservative Matsunami said While researchers had earlier identified the genes that encode for odor receptors it has been a mystery how the receptors are activated Matsunami said To determine what turns the receptors on his team cloned more than 500 receptors each from 20 people that had slight variations of only one or two amino acids and systematically exposed them to odor molecules that might excite the receptors By exposing each receptor to a very small concentration 1 10 or 100 micromoles of 73 odorants such as vanillin or guaiacol the group was able to identify 27 receptors that had a significant response to at least one odorant This finding published in the December issue of Nature Neuroscience doubles the number of known odorant activated receptors bringing the number to 40 Matsunami said this research could have a big impact for the flavors fragrance and food industries These manufacturers all want to know a rational way to

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/matsunami_5.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    diet expressed genes that would allow them to ferment carbohydrates The differences between the gut bacteria of the people on the plant only and animal only diets mirrored the differences between herbivorous and carnivorous mammals the researchers wrote in the study published today Dec 11 in the journal Nature Researchers knew that a person s diet affects his or her gut bacteria but it wasn t clear just how quickly this happens The researchers said they were surprised by their results We weren t at all sure it was going to happen this quickly in humans said study researcher Lawrence David an assistant professor in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy The findings suggest the choices that people make on relatively short time scales could be affecting the massive bacterial communities that live inside of us David said The study also adds evidence to the idea that human diets acting through the gut bacteria influence the risk of certain diseases People on the animal based diet had higher levels of a bacterium called Bilophila wadsworthia which grows in response to bile acids and has been linked with inflammatory bowel disease in mice according to the study This finding supports a link between dietary fat from animal fat bile acids and an increase in growth of microbes that may affect the risk of inflammatory bowel disease the researchers said People who ate the plant based diet saw fewer changes in the abundance of bacterial species in their gut than people who ate the animal based diet This may have in part been due to the fact that humans produce bile acids in response to eating animal products and bile acids in turn influence bacterial growth according to the researchers The study

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/david.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    peers recognizes each of their contributions to science and technology and is a wonderful honor for them and for the School of Medicine and the university The new fellows include Provost Peter Lange who was one of four scholars selected nationally for the Section on Social Economic and Political Sciences Lange who will step down after 15 years as provost at the end of the academic year will return to teaching and research where he is one of the nation s leading scholars of European politics Named as AAAS Fellows are Alejandro Aballay Duke University Medical Center For work using C elegans to elucidate the mechanisms underlying host pathogen interactions and the cell autonomous and organismal regulation of innate immunity Vann Bnnett Duke University Medical Center For contributions to the molecular basis for functional organization of vertebrate plasma membranes highlighted by pioneering research on the discovery and functions of ankyrins David Benjamin Goldstein Duke University For distinguished contributions to human genetics and in particular to the genetic study of human disease and responses to treatment John H McCusker Duke University Medical Center For pioneering the use of Baker s yeast for the analysis of quantitative traits Yuan Zhuang Duke University Medical Center For contributions to the field of immunology particularly for clarifying the mechanisms by which transcription factors control lymphocyte development Stephen Lawrence Craig Duke University For contributions bridging synthetic organic physical and materials chemistry with a particular focus on supramolecular interactions and mechanochemical coupling Junfeng Jim Zhang Duke University For contributions in exposure science and public health and for improving the health of millions of people around the world through risk assessment Marc G Caron Duke University Medical Center For multifaceted contributions to the field of G protein coupled receptors and their roles in development addiction and behavior Michael

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/aaas_2014.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    José Vargas Muñiz PI Steinbach 2014 National Science Foundation NSF Honorable Mention Jeffrey Bryant PI Gromeier Dora Posfai PI Derbyshire Allison Roder PI Horner 2014 Jo Rae Wright Fellowship Marcela Kokes PI Valdivia 2014 Ford Foundation Fellowship Christine Vazquez PI Horner 2014 Ford Foundation Fellowship Honorable Mention David Martinez PI Permar 2013 2014 American Heart Association AHA Danielle Pilla PI Coers UPGG Students 2014 National Science Foundation Awardee NSF Rachael

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/ten_fellowships.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    Microbiology have received National Science Foundation NSF fellowships and one has received a Broad Biomedical Research Foundation award More Cullen Receives 2013 Research Mentoring Award Bryan R Cullen PhD James B Duke Professor and Director of the Center for Virology in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has received the 2013 Research Mentoring Award for Basic Science Research More Schaeffer Receives Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award NRSA Daneen Schaeffer PhD a third year postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center was awarded a National Research Service Award NRSA from the National Cancer Institute This competitive fellowship will provide stipend support for her third year of postdoctoral research More Insights and Solutions for Emerging Infectious Diseases Symposium The Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Department of Immunology and Global Health Institute and the Duke NUS Graduate Medical School Singaporewill convene the Insights and Solutions for Emerging Infectious Diseases symposium in the Jones Research Building April 22 and 23 More Garcia Blanco Elected 2013 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology AAM Mariano Garcia Blanco PhD Charles D Watts Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Professor of Medicine Director of the Center for RNA Biology and Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke NUS Graduate Medical School has been selected as a 2013 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology AAM More Marchuk Receives Mitchell Asbury Memorial Award Douglas Marchuk PhD Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the University Program in Genetics and Genomics has received the 25 000 Mitchell Asbury Memorial Award More Ko Receives Prestigious Whitehead Scholarship Dennis Ko MD PhD an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has received a three year Whitehead Scholarship from the Duke School of Medicine More Head Receives Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award Brian Head a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Alejandro Aballay PhD has received a two year Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award NRSA from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences More Duke Celebrates New AAAS Fellows The American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS has elected 14 Duke faculty among this year s class of 702 new fellows The honor is bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers in recognition of scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications Notably two new fellows are from the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology More Petes Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Genetics Thomas D Petes PhD has been named the 2013 recipient of the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal for lifetime achievement in the field of genetics from the Genetics Society of America More Tobin Receives 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award David M Tobin PhD Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Duke University School of Medicine has been honored as a recipient of the 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award More Duke Scientists Discover Genetic Material in Blood Cells that May Affect Malaria Parasites Researchers at Duke University Medical Center may finally have discovered why people with sickle cell disease get milder cases of malaria than individuals who have normal red blood cells More Kim Appointed Director of Duke RNAi Screening Facility So Young Kim PhD Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has been appointed Director of the Duke RNAi Screening Facility which serves as the focal point of RNAi technology development and expertise for the Duke University and Medical Center research community More Bastidas and Barker Receive Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Awards Robert Bastidas PhD and Jeffrey Barker PhD post doctoral fellows in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center have each received a Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award NRSA from the National Institute of Health and Infectious Disease NIAID for their work on innate host responses to Chlamydial pathogens More Tobin Named Searle Scholar for 2012 David Tobin PhD Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology is one of 15 researchers in the chemical and biological sciences to be named as a 2012 Searle Scholar More Pilla Receives American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship Danielle Pilla a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center has received an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship More Newly Discovered Breast Milk Antibodies Help Neutralize HIV Antibodies that help to stop the HIV virus have been found in breast milk Researchers at Duke University Medical Center isolated the antibodies from immune cells called B cells in the breast milk of infected mothers in Malawi and showed that the B cells in breast milk can generate neutralizing antibodies that may inhibit the virus that causes AIDS More 2012 Duke Medicine Emeriti Thomas Mitchell PhD Watch a video featuring Thomas Mitchell PhD who was honored with Emeriti status on June 5 2012 at a dinner celebration at the Washington Duke Inn More Garcia Blanco Awarded Distinguished Professorship Honoring the Late Charles D Watts Mariano Garcia Blanco PhD Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Medicine and Director of the Center for RNA Biology at Duke University s School of Medicine and Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore has been named the Charles D Watts Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology More Genes May Explain Why Some People Turn Their Noses Up at Meat If you don t like the taste of pork the reason may be that your genes cause you to smell the meat more intensely according to a new study More Perfect Appointed Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases Mary Klotman MD Chair of the Department of Medicine has announced that after a rigorous national search John Perfect MD has agreed to be the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases More Heitman Receives 2012 Research Mentoring Award Joseph Heitman MD PhD James B Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has received the 2012 Research Mentoring Award for Translational Research More Mini Symposium on Pathogenic Human Viruses The next Duke Center for Virology Mini symposium on Pathogenic Human Viruses is scheduled for Thursday April 12 2012 The symposium will be held in Room 103 of the Bryan Research Building from 9 00am to 12 30pm and will feature four presentations from internationally recognized experts in the field More Treatment for TB Can Be Guided by Patients Genetics A gene that influences the inflammatory response to infection may also predict the effectiveness of drug treatment for a deadly form of tuberculosis More Copper Love Chemical Big Sulfur Stink When Hiroaki Matsunami PhD associate professor at Duke University set out to study a chemical in male mouse urine called MTMT that attracts female mice he didn t think he would stumble into a new field of study More Duke Tufts Team Up to Plan 2013 FASEB Science Research Conference on Microbial Pathogenesis Plans are underway for the Microbial Pathogenesis Mechanisms of Infectious Disease summer research conference to be held in Snowmass CO on July 21 26 2013 More Duke Symposium in Celebration of Mycology and Mycologists Please join us for a symposium at Duke University April 5 6 2012 in celebration of mycology and mycologists During this meeting we will review the latest exciting breakthroughs in the field including fungal biology virulence and novel ways to intervene therapeutically and enrich our scientific community through shared interests and visions More New Way to Learn About and Potentially Block Traits in Harmful Pathogens Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have developed a new way to identify the genes of harmful microbes particularly those that have been difficult to study in the laboratory More Duke Celebrates New AAAS Fellows Five scientists from Duke University Medical Center and three from Duke University have been chosen for the distinct honor of fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS More Premature Babies Harbor Fewer But More Dangerous Microbe Types One of the most comprehensive studies to date of the microbes that are found in extremely low birthweight infants found that hard to treat Candida fungus is often present as well as some harmful bacteria and parasites More Duke RNAi Screening Facility The Center for RNA Biology and the IGSP have established an RNAi Facility for the application of RNA interference RNAi technologies for mammalian functional genomics Read about it in the January 2012 SOM Newsletter here More In Three Continent Effort Duke Works to Uncover Genetic Basis of Epilepsy Duke University Medical Center has been awarded a 25 million grant to study the genetic basis of human epilepsy in order to improve our understanding of the biology of epilepsy and to develop new directions for its treatment More Science Under the Stars Building on earlier successes with K 12 classroom outreach and a landmark appearance at the 2010 USA Science and Engineering Festival Duke University students and faculty invited Triangle area families to join them for an evening of interactive science demonstrations called Science Under the Stars More Four Duke Researchers Win NIH New Innovator Awards Four Duke University scientists are winners of the 2011 National Institutes of Health NIH Director s New Innovator Award Seok Yong Lee David Tobin Nicolas Buchler and Charles Gersbach earned the honor for their highly innovative research and promise as young developing scientists More Cryptococcus Infections Misdiagnosed in Many AIDS Patients Most AIDS patients when diagnosed with a fungal infection known simply as cryptococcosis are assumed to have an infection with Cryptococcus neoformans but a recent study from Duke University Medical Center suggests that a sibling species Cryptococcus gattii is a more common cause than was previously known More Second Annual Joklik Distinguished Lectureship Karla Kirkegaard PhD Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford School of Medicine will present the second annual Joklik Distinguished Lectureship hosted by the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology More Symposium on RNA Biology IX RNA Tool and Target This year s Symposium on RNA Biology IX RNA Tool and Target is scheduled for Friday October 21 and Saturday October 22 2011 The symposium will be held in the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and Hilton at Research Triangle Park and will feature presentations from recognized experts in the field More Newly Designed Molecule Blocks Chlamydia Bacteria Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have discovered a way to block the damaging actions of Chlamydia the bacteria responsible for the largest number of sexually transmitted infections in the United States More Mitchell Announces Retirement Thomas G Mitchell PhD will retire from his position as Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program MMPTP on August 1 2011 He has been a faculty member in the Department since 1974 and Director of the MMPTP since its inception in 2003 More Tobin Receives Edward Mallinckrodt Jr Foundation Award David Tobin PhD Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology was awarded a 2011 Edward Mallinckrodt Jr Foundation grant Tobin s award was given to support his research on understanding susceptibility to tuberculosis using a zebrafish model More Keum and Bennett Receive GSA Best Poster Award Sehoon Keum a postdoctoral associate and Chris Bennett a graduate student in the University Program in Genetics and Genomics UPGG at Duke University have received Best Poster Awards for their presentations at the Genetics Society of America Mouse Genetics 2011 Conference in Washington DC June 22 25 More Size Matters in Virulent Fungal Spores and Suggests Ways to Stop a Killer Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have found that larger fungal spores can be more lethal Their findings about two different spore sizes of the fungus Mucor circinelloides a pathogen that kills half or more of its victims could help to develop new treatments and fight other types of fungal infections More Heitman Receives Prestigious NIH MERIT Award for Studies on Fungal Unisexual Reproduction in Microbial Pathogen Evolution Joseph Heitman MD PhD James B Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Medicine at Duke University has received an NIH MERIT Method to Extend Research in Time Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases More Ciotti McDonald and Tang Receive American Heart Association Fellowships Marcella Ciotti a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology David McDonald a graduate student in the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics and Hao Tang a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center have received American Heart Association Fellowships More Coers Receives 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award Jörn Coers PhD an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center was selected by the American Society for Microbiology ASM to receive the 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award More Unlocking the Genome s Secrets to Long Life Last year Elizabeth Cirulli graduated with a PhD from the UPGG at Duke Now a postdoc in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology she and her advisor David Goldstein have launched the first whole genome sequencing study of centenarians More Li and Mitchell Receive DeLill Nasser Award from the Genetics Society of America Wenjun Li a postdoctoral fellow and Katrina Mitchell a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center have received the DeLill Nasser Award from the Genetics Society of America More Thirty third Annual Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology will host the Thirty third Annual Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture on May 10 2011 This year s speaker is Joseph DeRisi PhD More Vilcek Foundation Recognizes Yibin Kang Yibin Kang who trained as a graduate student with Bryan Cullen PhD in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology was chosen by the Vilcek Foundation to receive its 2011 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science More Duke Scholars in Infectious Diseases Program Announces 2011 2012 Scholars The Duke Scholars in Infectious Diseases Program is very pleased to announce the participants selected for the 2011 12 academic year More The Smell of Infection There is finally definitive proof in a preclinical study published in Science on April 7 about which sensory neurons control innate inborn and immediate immunity in a pathogen s presence More Mini Symposium on Pathogenic Human Viruses The next Duke Center for Virology mini symposium is scheduled for Thursday April 7 2011 The symposium will be held in Room 103 of the Bryan Research Building from 8 55am to 12 30pm and will feature four presentations from internationally recognized experts in the field More Plans Underway for Keystone Symposia s 2012 Meeting Plans are underway for Keystone Symposia s 2012 meeting on Fungal Pathogens From Basic Biology to Drug Discovery to be held in Sante Fe NM January 15 20 2012 More Garcia Blanco Elected to Association of American Physicians Mariano Garcia Blanco MD PhD a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center has been awarded the distinction of Association of American Physicians AAP Fellow this year More Duke University Medical Center Celebrates New AAAS Fellows Seven Duke University Medical Center scientists including Jack Keene James B Duke Professor and Maria Cardenas Corona research professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed on AAAS members by their peers More Welcome New Faculty Member Dr David Tobin David Tobin PhD joined the Duke University School of Medicine Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology as an assistant professor in February 2011 More Scientists Decode Secrets of a Very Common Virus that Can Cause Cancer About 90 percent of people are infected at some time in their lives with Epstein Barr virus EBV usually with no ill effects But individuals with compromised immune systems such as people with organ transplants or HIV infection have a greater risk of cancer occurring because of this virus More Chi Elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation ASCI Jen Tsan Ashley Chi MD PhD an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the IGSP s Center for Applied Genomics and Technology is one of 68 new members elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation ASCI More Tiny Molecules Protect From the Dangers of Sex Pathogenic fungi have been found to protect themselves against unwanted genetic mutations during sexual reproduction according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center A gene silencing pathway protects the fungal genome from mutations imposed by a partner during mating More Second Annual Viral Oncology and AIDS Malignancy Mini Symposium The Second Annual Viral Oncology and AIDS Malignancy Mini Symposium is scheduled for Monday November 15 2010 The symposium will be held in the Bryan Research Building Room 103 from 1 00 to 4 00pm and will feature three presentations from internationally recognized experts in the field More Welcome New Faculty Member Dr Debra Silver Debra Silver PhD joined the Duke University School of Medicine Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology as an assistant professor in September 2010 More St Geme Elected to Institute of Medicine Joseph W St Geme III MD James B Duke Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology is one of 65 new members elected to the IOM More Petes Receives 2010 Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor Award Thomas D Petes PhD Minnie Geller Professor has been named the 2010 Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor at Duke University More Marchuk Appointed Vice Chair of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Douglas Marchuk PhD Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the of the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics has been named Vice Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/ (2014-06-13)
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