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Volume 11 , Issue 2
Showing 1-18 articles out of 18 articles from the selected issue
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Editorial (Topic: Medical humanities)
  • Wei Tang
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 125-127
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 30, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Advances in the study of the medical humanities and medical humanities education have been made over the past few decades. Many influential journals have published articles examining the role of medical humanities and medical humanities education, the development and evaluation of medical humanities, and the design of a curriculum for medical humanities education in Western countries. However, most articles related to medical humanities in China were published in Chinese, moreover, researchers have worked in relative isolation and published in disparate journals, so their work has not been systematically presented to and evaluated by international readers. The six companion articles featured in this issue describe the current status and challenge of medical humanities and medical humanities education in China in the hope of providing international readers with a novel and meaningful glimpse into medical humanities in China. This Journal is calling for greater publication of research on medical humanities and medical humanities education to propel medical humanities in China.

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Policy Forum (Topic: Medical humanities)
  • Peipei Song, Wei Tang
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 128-133
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 29, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    In the era of the biological-psychological-social medicine model, an ideal of modern medicine is to enhance the humanities in medical education, to foster medical talents with humanistic spirit, and to promote the integration of scientific spirit and humanistic spirit in medicine. Throughout the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), other Western countries, and some Asian countries like Japan, many medical universities have already integrated the learning of medical humanities in their curricula and recognized their value. While in China, although medical education reform over the past decade has emphasized the topic of medical humanities to increase the professionalism of future physicians, the integration of medical humanity courses in medical universities has lagged behind the pace in Western countries. In addition, current courses in medical humanities were arbitrarily established due to a lack of organizational independence. For various reasons like a shortage of instructors, medical universities have failed to pay sufficient attention to medical humanities education given the urgent needs of society. The medical problems in contemporary Chinese society are not solely the purview of biomedical technology; what matters more is enhancing the humanities in medical education and fostering medical talents with humanistic spirit. Emphasizing the humanities in medical education and promoting the integration of medical scientific spirit and medical humanistic spirit have become one of the most pressing issues China must address. Greater attention should be paid to reasonable integration of humanities into the medical curriculum, creation of medical courses related to humanities and optimization of the curriculum, and actively allocating abundant teaching resources and exploring better methods of instruction.

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  • Fan Wang, Zhenzhen Song, Wen Zhang, Yawen Xiao
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 134-137
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 29, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Doctors in China have been wounded or even killed in frequent violence as conflict between doctors and patients has intensified. China has had a massive dearth of medical students over the past decade and doctors are dissatisfied with conditions in their profession. Conditions in medicine are not conducive to medical reform. This paper notes that the main factors affecting the doctor-patient relationship are a lack of humanity in medicine, the predominance of techniques and technologies, and inappropriate administration of hospitals. These factors are related to a lack of medical humanities. This paper describes several steps to make medicine more humane and to help establish a harmonious doctor-patient relationship, including improved humanities education for doctors and medical students, ending the predominance of techniques and technologies, bringing back "humanity" in medicine, and improving the administration of hospitals.

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  • Wenting Chen, Haihong Qian
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 138-141
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 30, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    People have more visual experiences than ever before, and the same is true for situations in medicine. More mature films and television shows with a medical theme have been available over the past 20 years. In mainland China, the TV series "Angel Heart" has generated a wave of universal concern since it truly depicts the work of health care workers and it reflects the sharp distinction between doctors and patients to a certain extent. Riding this wave, many medical documentaries like The Human World have also been launched in China and have garnered sizable audiences. Such films and television shows with a medical theme strive to depict the lives of ordinary people. When watching these medical documentaries, audiences are able to better comprehend the work of health care workers in light of their life experiences and feelings towards current society. Audiences can gain a profound understanding of the medical humanities through films and television shows with a medical theme. We look forward to more such films and television shows with a medical theme that depict "hospitals-the realest place" on camera. Films and television shows with a medical theme can serve as a storytelling medium to accelerate the spread of medical humanities and to promote harmony among doctors, patients, and the public.

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Reviews (Topic: Medical humanities)
  • Ye Liu, Yiqin Huang, Hong Gao, Xunjia Cheng
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 142-147
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 29, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Communication ability is one of the core requirements of doctors' competency. Teaching communication to medical students and junior doctors has attracted much attention. With the challenge of escalating demands, the status of training communication skills has been promoted in the past several decades. The training content was integrated with other courses and various pedagogic approaches have been applied and proved to be effective. Practical strategies and mixed types were highly recommended. However, there are still many problems, including the fragmentation of the training, insufficient practice, inadequate qualified teachers, case adaptation, course localization and impediment from the environment. This paper proposes some suggestions to solve the problems.

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  • Xiaojing Yun, Jiawei Guo, Haihong Qian
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 148-151
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 29, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Medical humanities (MH) is an interdisciplinary field of medicine which includes the humanities (literature, philosophy, ethics, history, and religion), social sciences (anthropology, cultural studies, psychology, sociology, and health geography), and the arts (literature, theater, film, and visual arts) and their application to medical education and practice. Studies of MH should not be limited to theoretical discussions. Research results must be translated into use of methodologies to formulate medical policies, guide clinical practices, and help resolve physical or mental problems. MH has a critical role in addressing medicine-related issues, such as human cloning legislation and the treatment of Ebola virus infection. Recently, MH has also been included in the "Healthy China 2030" project, indicating that MH has garnered more attention in China. Medical colleges, research institutes, and non-profit organizations are focusing on MH studies. Over the past few years, financial support for MH studies has also increased. Although the development of MH currently lags behind medicine and health sciences, MH has promise.

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Communication(Topic: Medical humanities)
Reviews
  • Ignacio Norambuena-Soto, Constanza Núñez-Soto, Fernanda Sanhueza-Oliva ...
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 154-162
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 24, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Fibroblasts play several homeostatic roles, including electrical coupling, paracrine signaling and tissue repair after injury. Fibroblasts have low secretory activity. However, in response to injury, they differentiate to myofibroblasts. These cells have an increased extracellular matrix synthesis and secretion, including collagen fibers, providing stiffness to the tissue. In pathological conditions myofibroblasts became resistant to apoptosis, remaining in the tissue, causing excessive extracellular matrix secretion and deposition, which contributes to the progressive tissue remodeling. Therefore, increased myofibroblast content within damaged tissue is a characteristic hallmark of heart, lung, kidney and liver fibrosis. Recently, it was described that cardiac fibroblast to myofibroblast differentiation is triggered by the transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) through a Smad-independent activation of Forkhead box O (FoxO). FoxO proteins are a transcription factor family that includes FoxO1, FoxO3, FoxO4 and FoxO6. In several cells types, they play an important role in cell cycle arrest, oxidative stress resistance, cell survival, energy metabolism, and cell death. Here, we review the role of FoxO family members on the regulation of cardiac fibroblast proliferation and differentiation.

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  • Mingxing Xu, Xuehua Wang, Yong Zou, Yuesi Zhong
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 163-168
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Because of the prevalence of viral hepatitis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), liver fibrosis has become a very common disease in Asia and elsewhere in the world, constantly increasing the burden of care borne by society. Hepatic sinusoidal capillarization, characterized by gradually shrinking fenestrae on the surface of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) and the formation of an organized basement membrane, is an initial pathologic change associated with liver fibrosis. Basic and clinical studies have indicated that LSECs play a key role in hepatic sinusoidal capillarization by affecting various aspects of the development and progression of liver fibrosis. Reviewing studies on the effect of LSECs on liver fibrosis is essential to better understanding the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis and its mechanism of progression. Moreover, such a review will provide a theoretical basis for identifying new methods to promote the regression or even inhibition of fibrosis. This review will focus on structural and functional changes in LSECs during hepatic sinusoidal capillarization and the interaction between the micro-environment of the liver and the body's immune system.

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Original Articles
  • Subrata Pramanik, Arne Kutzner, Klaus Heese
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 169-178
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 03, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    In the present study, we determine comprehensive molecular phylogenetic relationships of the novel myelin-associated neurite-outgrowth inhibitor (MANI) gene across the entire eukaryotic lineage. Combined computational genomic and proteomic sequence analyses revealed MANI as one of the two members of the novel family with sequence similarity 168 member (FAM168) genes, consisting of FAM168A and FAM168B, having distinct genetic differences that illustrate diversification in its biological function and genetic taxonomy across the phylogenetic tree. Phylogenetic analyses based on coding sequences of these FAM168 genes revealed that they are paralogs and that the earliest emergence of these genes occurred in jawed vertebrates such as Callorhinchus milii. Surprisingly, these two genes are absent in other chordates that have a notochord at some stage in their lives, such as branchiostoma and tunicates. In the context of phylogenetic relationships among eukaryotic species, our results demonstrate the presence of FAM168 orthologs in vertebrates ranging from Callorhinchus milii to Homo sapiens, displaying distinct taxonomic clusters, comprised of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Analyses of individual FAM168 exons in our sample provide new insights into the molecular relationships between FAM168A and FAM168B (MANI) on the one hand and livebearing and egg-laying mammals on the other hand, demonstrating that a distinctive intermediate exon 4, comprised of 27 nucleotides, appears suddenly only in FAM168A and there in the livebearing mammals only but is absent from all other species including the egg-laying mammals.

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  • Michael A. Cahill
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 179-192
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    A complex PGRMC1-centred regulatory system controls multiple cell functions. Although PGRMC1 is phosphorylated at several positions, we do not understand the mechanisms regulating its function. PGRMC1 is the archetypal member of the membrane associated progesterone receptor (MAPR) family. Phylogentic comparison of MAPR proteins suggests that the ancestral metazoan "PGRMC-like" MAPR gene resembled PGRMC1/PGRMC2, containing the equivalents of PGRMC1 Y139 and Y180 SH2 target motifs. It later acquired a CK2 site with phosphoacceptor at S181. Separate PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 genes with this "PGRMC-like" structure diverged after the separation of vertebrates from protochordates. Terrestrial tetrapods possess a novel proline-rich PGRMC1 SH3 target motif centred on P64 which in mammals is augmented by a phosphoacceptor at PGRMC1 S54, and in primates by an additional S57 CK2 site. All of these phosphoacceptors are phosphorylated in vivo. This study suggests that an increasingly sophisticated system of PGRMC1-modulated multicellular functional regulation has characterised animal evolution since Precambrian times.

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  • Yang Deng, Jue Wang, Ling Wang, Yan Du
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 193-201
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Ovarian cancer is one of the common gynecological malignancies worldwide. It is usually diagnosed at a later stage, thus missing the best opportunity for treatment. Despite the advancement of ovarian cancer treatment, the prognosis is still poor. Androgen receptor (AR) may play a role in ovarian carcinogenesis. Previous studies regarding the association between AR CAG repeat length and ovarian cancer risk reported inconsistent results. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the association between AR CAG repeat length and ovarian cancer risk following the MOOSE guidelines. PubMed, Web of Science, EBSCO and other databases were searched up to September 15th 2016. Case control studies with clear definition of CAG repeat length and detailed genotype information were included. Two authors independently reviewed and extracted data. Pooled analysis and subgroup analysis stratified by ethnicity were performed for different genetic models. Begg's funnel plot and Egger's test were performed for publication bias estimation. Overall, there was no association between the AR CAG repeat polymorphism and ovarian cancer risk. However, short CAG repeat polymorphism was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk in African Americans and Chinese under the dominant model, whereas a reverse association was observed in Caucasians and Italians under the other three models. Our study results should be interpreted with caution. Further well-designed epidemiological and functional studies are needed to elucidate the role of AR in ovarian carcinogenesis.

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  • Chunmei Geng, Pingli Li, Xuwang Chen, Guiyan Yuan, Nan Guo, Huanjun Li ...
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 202-208
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 17, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    To determine the feasibility of using a nanoparticle immunoassay for clinical therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of docetaxel concentrations, a sensitive and simple method of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was established to measure the docetaxel concentration in human plasma and the results of LC-MS/MS and the immunoassay were compared. Docetaxel and paclitaxel (the internal standard, or IS) in human plasma were extracted through protein precipitation, separated on a Diamonsil C18 column (150 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 μm), ionized with positive ions, and detected with LC-MS/MS in multi-reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. Plasma samples from 248 cancer patients were assayed with LC-MS/MS and a nanoparticle immunoassay. Data from the samples were analyzed with the statistical software SPSS and the software MedCalc. Results indicated that the calibration curve of the validated method of LC-MS/MS was linear over the range of 10-2,000 ng/mL, with an lowest limit of quantitation (LLOQ) of 10 ng/mL, and the intra- and inter- day precision and accuracy were both < ± 15%. Comparison of the two methods indicated that results of the LC-MS/MS were closely related to those of the nanoparticle immunoassay, with a correlation coefficient (R) of 0.965 and acceptable 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ‒ 231.7-331.1 ng/mL. Overall, the established method of LC-MC/MS and the nanoparticle immunoassay were both suitable for measurement of the docetaxel concentration in human plasma, and the immunoassay was far more cost-effective and better at clinical TDM of docetaxel in clinical practice.

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  • Xumin Hou, Wenzheng Han, Qian Gan, Yuan Liu, Weiyi Fang
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 209-213
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: March 19, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Ischemic events after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) remain a major concern for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). The aim of the current study was to investigate whether thromboelastography (TEG) was a satisfactory technique to measure platelet function in vitro in order to improve risk stratification and the individual response to antiplatelet therapy. The diagnostic and prognostic utility of the maximum amplitude of adenosine diphosphate induced platelet-fibrin clots (MAADP) was measured with TEG in 759 patients undergoing elective PCI. A 600-mg dose of clopidogrel was taken more than 12 h before surgery in addition to a maintenance dose of aspirin 100 mg/day and clopidogrel 75 mg/day for 2 y. Platelet-fibrin clot strength was also measured in this study. An MAADP > 34 mm significantly predicted ischemic events after PCI, as indicated by an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.79 (95% CI: 0.72-0.87, P < 0.05) according to receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. The multivariate Cox proportional hazards model identified MAADP > 34 mm and an FBG level > 7.0 mmol/L as significant independent predictors of first ischemic events at the 2-year time point (P < 0.05). With adequate clopidogrel pretreatment, patients who underwent elective PCI and who experienced ischemic events could be diagnosed with a certain MAADP according to TEG. TEG could be a good tool to measure platelet function.

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  • Lei Liu, Renbo Guo, Xiang Zhang, Yiran Liang, Feng Kong, Jue Wang, Zho ...
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 214-220
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: March 06, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Recent studies facilitated by DNA sequencing identified the histone modifying gene SETD2 as the second most frequent mutant gene in sporadic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) patients. SETD2 functions as a tumor suppressor in ccRCC. However, its clinical association and biological functions are not fully delineated. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical significance of SETD2 in ccRCC patients. SETD2 and its canonical histone modification product H3K36me3 were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 155 ccRCC patients from two independent cohorts retrospectively. Both SETD2 and H3K36me3 were heterogeneously stained and down-regulated in ccRCC tissues, compared with normal controls. The SETD2 protein deficiency rate was 34.07%, which is much higher than the reported SETD2 gene inactive mutation rate. Furthermore, low SETD2 protein expression, but not H3K36me3 expression, was associated with the aggressive phenotype of ccRCC patients. In addition, cox multivariate analysis identified low SETD2 protein expression as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival of ccRCC patients. Consistently, using RNA-Seq data of ccRCC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas, we validated our findings that low SETD2 mRNA expression is significantly associated with the aggressive phenotypes, and predicted a worse outcome for ccRCC patients. In conclusion, our study demonstrated a massive down-regulation of SETD2 protein in ccRCC, and identified SETD2 protein, but not H3K36me3, as an independent good prognostic marker, which warrants further study focusing on the non-methyltransferase role of SETD2 in kidney tumor biology.

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  • Eleonora G. Dimitrova, Borislav G. Chaushev, Nikolay V. Conev, Javor K ...
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 221-228
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    The current study sought to evaluate the predictive and prognostic performance of the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) prior to treatment in 43 patients with colon cancer and unresectable liver metastases. Patients with colon cancer who underwent 18F-FDG-PET/computed tomography (CT) scans for staging before the start of first-line 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy were retrospectively analyzed. Expression of Beclin-1 in cancer cells was evaluated in primary tumors using immunohistochemical staining. The pretreatment SUVmax for liver metastases was not able to predict progression-free survival but was significantly associated with poorer overall survival, with a hazard ratio of 2.05 (95 % CI, 1.016-4.155). Moreover, a negative correlation was noted between SUVmax and expression of a marker of autophagy – Beclin-1 (rho = -0.42, p = 0.006). This suggests that the pretreatment SUVmax in 18F-FDG PET/CT is a useful tool to help predict survival outcome in patients with colon cancer and unresectable liver metastases and may significantly distinguish between patients with low and high levels of Beclin-1 expression (AUC = 0.809, 95% CI: 0.670-0.948, p = 0.001).

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Brief Reports
  • Abu Iftiaf Md Salah Ud-Din, Anna Roujeinikova
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 229-234
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Pseudomonas fluorescens is a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium that provides nutrients for growth and induces systemic resistance against plant diseases. It has been linked with a number of human diseases including nosocomial infections and bacterial cystitis. Chemotactic motility of P. fluorescens towards root exudates plays a crucial role in establishing a symbiotic relationship with host plants. The P. fluorescens chemotactic transducer of amino acids type B (CtaB) mediates chemotaxis towards amino acids. As a step towards elucidation of the structural basis of ligand recognition by CtaB, we have produced crystals of its recombinant sensory domain and performed their X-ray diffraction analysis. The periplasmic sensory domain of CtaB has been expressed, purified, and crystallized by the hanging-drop vapor diffusion method using ammonium sulfate as a precipitating agent. A complete data set was collected to 2.2 Å resolution using cryocooling conditions and synchrotron radiation. The crystals belong to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 34.5, b = 108.9, c = 134.6 Å. Calculation of the Matthews coefficient and the self-rotation function using this data set suggested that the asymmetric unit contains a protein dimer. Detailed structural analysis of CtaB would be an important step towards understanding the molecular mechanism underpinning the recognition of environmental signals and transmission of the signals to the inside of the cell.

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  • Ender Dulundu, Wafi Attaallah, Metin Tilki, Cumhur Yegen, Safak Coskun ...
    Volume 11 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 235-242
    Released: May 23, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 17, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    The optimal surgical strategy for treating colorectal cancer with synchronous liver metastases is subject to debate. The current study sought to evaluate the outcomes of simultaneous colorectal cancer and liver metastases resection in a single center. Prospectively collected data on all patients with synchronous colorectal liver metastases who underwent simultaneous resection with curative intent were analyzed retrospectively. Patient outcomes were compared depending on the primary tumor location and type of liver resection (major or minor). Between January 2005 and August 2016, 108 patients underwent simultaneous resection of primary colorectal cancer and liver metastases. The tumor was localized to the right side of the colon in 24 patients (22%), to the left side in 40 (37%), and to the rectum in 44 (41%). Perioperative mortality occurred in 3 patients (3%). Postoperative complications were noted in 32 patients (30%), and most of these complications (75%) were grade 1 to 3 according to the Clavien-Dindo classification. Neither perioperative mortality nor the rate of postoperative complications after simultaneous resection differed among patients with cancer of the right side of the colon, those with cancer of the left side of the colon, and those with rectal cancer (4%, 2.5%, and 2%, respectively, p = 0.89) and (17%, 33%, and 34%, respectively; p = 0.29)]. The 5-year overall survival of the entire sample was 54% and the 3-year overall survival was 67 %. In conclusion, simultaneous resection for primary colorectal cancer and liver metastases is a safe procedure and can be performed without excess morbidity in carefully selected patients regardless of the location of the primary tumor and type of hepatectomy.

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