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An intervention to increase hepatitis C virus diagnosis and treatment uptake among people in custody in Iran.

Int J Drug Policy 2021 May 12;95:103269. Epub 2021 May 12.

Digestive Oncology Research Center, Digestive Diseases Research Institute, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Iran is among countries with high opioid agonist therapy (OAT) coverage in prisons, which provides an infrastructure to increase feasibility of HCV programs. We aimed to evaluate the impact of an intervention to improve HCV screening, diagnosis, and treatment, including alongside the provision of OAT, in an Iranian prison.

Methods: During July-December 2018, in the Gorgan prison, all incarcerated adults (>18 years) received HCV antibody rapid testing and, if positive, provided a venepuncture sample for HCV RNA testing. Read More

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Exploring the feasibility of using real-world data from a large clinical data research network to simulate clinical trials of Alzheimer's disease.

NPJ Digit Med 2021 May 14;4(1):84. Epub 2021 May 14.

Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

In this study, we explored the feasibility of using real-world data (RWD) from a large clinical research network to simulate real-world clinical trials of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The target trial (i.e. Read More

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Quantifying persistence in the T-cell signaling network using an optically controllable antigen receptor.

Mol Syst Biol 2021 May;17(5):e10091

Molecular Immunity Unit, Department of Medicine, MRC-LMB, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

T cells discriminate between healthy and infected cells with remarkable sensitivity when mounting an immune response, which is hypothesized to depend on T cells combining stimuli from multiple antigen-presenting cell interactions into a more potent response. To quantify the capacity for T cells to accomplish this, we have developed an antigen receptor that is optically tunable within cell conjugates, providing control over the duration, and intensity of intracellular T-cell signaling. We observe limited persistence within the T-cell intracellular network on disruption of receptor input, with signals dissipating entirely in ~15 min, and directly show sustained proximal receptor signaling is required to maintain gene transcription. Read More

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Cross-Subject Zero Calibration Driver's Drowsiness Detection: Exploring Spatiotemporal Image Encoding of EEG Signals For Convolutional Neural Network Classification.

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 2021 May 12;PP. Epub 2021 May 12.

This paper explores two methodologies for drowsiness detection using EEG signals in a sustained-attention driving task considering pre-event time windows, and focusing on cross-subject zero calibration. Driving accidents are a major cause of injuries and deaths on the road. A considerable portion of those are due to fatigue and drowsiness. Read More

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Long-term Efficacy of Baricitinib in Adults With Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis Who Were Treatment Responders or Partial Responders: An Extension Study of 2 Randomized Clinical Trials.

JAMA Dermatol 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Translational Research in Inflammatory Skin Diseases, Institute for Health Services Research in Dermatology and Nursing, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Importance: Baricitinib, an oral selective Janus kinase inhibitor, improved the clinical signs and symptoms of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in the 16-week, phase 3 monotherapy studies, BREEZE-AD1 and BREEZE-AD2. Long-term efficacy has not yet been examined.

Objective: To evaluate the long-term (68-week) efficacy of baricitinib in adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis who were treatment responders or partial responders in BREEZE-AD1 and BREEZE-AD2. Read More

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Association of Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction Among Carriers of Truncating Variants in Filamin C With Frequent Ventricular Arrhythmia and End-stage Heart Failure.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation Unit, Virgen del Rocio University Hospital, Sevilla, Spain.

Importance: Truncating variants in the gene encoding filamin C (FLNCtv) are associated with arrhythmogenic and dilated cardiomyopathies with a reportedly high risk of ventricular arrhythmia.

Objective: To determine the frequency of and risk factors associated with adverse events among FLNCtv carriers compared with individuals carrying TTN truncating variants (TTNtv).

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study recruited 167 consecutive FLNCtv carriers and a control cohort of 244 patients with TTNtv matched for left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) from 19 European cardiomyopathy referral units between 1990 and 2018. Read More

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Self-Organizing Microdroplet Protocells Displaying Light-Driven Oscillatory and Morphological Evolution.

Small 2021 May 12:e2101162. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Origins of Life Initiative, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA.

The development of synthetic systems that enable the sustained active self-assembly of molecular blocks to mimic the complexity and dynamic behavior of living systems is of great interest in elucidating the origins of life, understanding the basic principles behind biological organization, and designing active materials. However, it remains a challenge to construct microsystems with dynamic behaviors and functions that are connected to molecular self-assembly processes driven by external energy. Here, an active self-assembly of microdroplet protocells with dynamic structure and high structural complexity through living radical polymerization under constant energy flux is reported. Read More

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Targeting Impaired Antimicrobial Immunity in the Brain for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 2021 4;17:1311-1339. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and aging is the most common risk factor for developing the disease. The etiology of AD is not known but AD may be considered as a clinical syndrome with multiple causal pathways contributing to it. The amyloid cascade hypothesis, claiming that excess production or reduced clearance of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and its aggregation into amyloid plaques, was accepted for a long time as the main cause of AD. Read More

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Treatment of COPD with Long-Acting Bronchodilators: Association Between Early and Longer-Term Clinically Important Improvement.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2021 3;16:1215-1226. Epub 2021 May 3.

Global Specialty & Primary Care, GSK, Brentford, Middlesex, UK.

Introduction: This post hoc analysis of the "Early MAXimization of bronchodilation for improving COPD stability" (EMAX) trial investigated whether patients achieving early clinically important improvement (CII) sustained longer-term improvements and lower risk of clinically important deterioration (CID).

Methods: Patients were randomized to umeclidinium/vilanterol, umeclidinium, or salmeterol for 24 weeks. The patient-reported outcomes (PROs) Transition Dyspnea Index (TDI), Evaluating Respiratory Symptoms, St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and COPD Assessment Test (CAT) were assessed. Read More

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National Swedish survey showed that child health services and routine immunisation programmes were resilient during the early COVID-19 pandemic.

Acta Paediatr 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Public Health Agency of Sweden, Sweden.

Aim: Routine immunisation programmes are at risk of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to investigate the resilience of the Swedish national immunisation programme for children up to the age of five years during the early stages of the pandemic.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, web-based survey of regional child health offices in Sweden between 10 September and 9 October 2020. Read More

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Defining major trauma: a Delphi study.

Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 2021 May 10;29(1):63. Epub 2021 May 10.

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Ambulance HQ, Bernicia House, Goldcrest Way, Newburn Riverside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE15 8NY, England.

Introduction: Retrospective trauma scores are often used to categorise trauma, however, they have little utility in the prehospital or hyper-acute setting and do not define major trauma to non-specialists. This study employed a Delphi process in order to gauge degrees of consensus/disagreement amongst expert panel members to define major trauma.

Method: A two round modified Delphi technique was used to explore subject-expert consensus and identify variables to define major trauma through systematically collating questionnaire responses. Read More

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Growing home dialysis: The Ontario Renal Network Home Dialysis Initiative 2012-2019.

Perit Dial Int 2021 May 10:8968608211012805. Epub 2021 May 10.

Ontario Renal Network, Ontario Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Ontario Renal Network (ORN), a provincial government agency in Ontario, Canada, launched an initiative in 2012 to increase home dialysis use province-wide. The initiative included a new modality-based funding formula, a standard mandatory informatics system, targets for prevalent home dialysis rates, the development of a 'network' of renal programmes with commitment to home dialysis and a culture of accountability with frequent meetings between ORN and each renal programme leadership to review their results. It also included funding of home dialysis coordinators, encouragement and funding of assisted peritoneal dialysis (PD), and support for catheter insertion and urgent start PD. Read More

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COVID-19 vaccine does not trigger psoriasis flares in psoriatic patients treated with apremilast.

Clin Exp Dermatol 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Clinical Dermatology, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy.

Although COVID-19 vaccination is warmly suggested for psoriatic patients by several dermatological societies worldwide, only a recently published Italian case-series has sustained a safe and effective role of the vaccine in this patients' subset. Remarkably, vaccines information highlights that limited data are present for immunosuppressed patients and the vaccination should be performed in agreement with the vaccinator. Read More

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Environmental Enrichment Improved Cognitive Performance in Mice under Normoxia and Hypoxia.

Adv Exp Med Biol 2021 ;1269:329-333

Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.

The mammalian brain modulates its microvascular network to accommodate tissue energy demand in a process referred to as angioplasticity. There is an aging effect on cognitive function and adaptive responses to hypoxia. Hypoxia-induced angiogenesis is delayed in the aging mouse brain. Read More

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Treating high-risk moderate acute malnutrition using therapeutic food compared with nutrition counseling (Hi-MAM Study): a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Project Peanut Butter, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Background: There is a lack of consensus on what is the most appropriate treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).

Objectives: We aimed to determine if provision of ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF) and antibiotics to "high-risk" MAM (HR-MAM) children in addition to nutritional counseling would result in higher recovery and less deterioration than nutrition counseling alone.

Methods: At the 11 intervention clinics, HR-MAM children were given RUTF and amoxicillin along with standard nutrition counseling, for 2-12 wk. Read More

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Ten-years outcomes of islet transplantation in patients with type 1 diabetes: data from the Swiss-French GRAGIL network.

Am J Transplant 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Endocrinology, Grenoble University Hospital, Grenoble Alpes, Pôle DigiDune, Grenoble, France.

To describe the 10-year outcomes of islet transplantation within the Swiss-French GRAGIL Network, in patients with type 1 diabetes experiencing high glucose variability associated with severe hypoglycemia and/or with functional kidney graft. We conducted a retrospective analysis of all subjects transplanted in the GRAGIL-1c and GARGIL-2 islet transplantation trials and analyzed components of metabolic control, graft function and safety outcomes over the 10-year period of follow-up. Forty-four patients were included between September 2003 and April 2010. Read More

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In vitro studies of Annona muricata L. extract-loaded electrospun scaffolds for localized treatment of breast cancer.

J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater 2021 May 7. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

This paper presents in vitro studies of the sustained release of Annona muricata leaf extracts (AME) from hybrid electrospun fibers for breast cancer treatment. Electrospun hybrid scaffolds were fabricated from crude AME extracts, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)/gelatin (PLGA/Ge) and pluronic F127. The physicochemical properties of the AME extract and scaffolds were studied. Read More

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Default mode network connectivity and cognition in the aging brain: the effects of age, sex, and APOE genotype.

Neurobiol Aging 2021 Apr 2;104:10-23. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD. Electronic address:

The default mode network (DMN) overlaps with regions showing early Alzheimer's Disease (AD) pathology. Age, sex, and apolipoprotein E ɛ4 are the predominant risk factors for developing AD. How these risk factors interact to influence DMN connectivity and connectivity-cognition relationships before the onset of impairment remains unknown. Read More

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Establishment and Use of Polio Communication Network in Response to Polio in Outbreak Countries of the Horn of Africa: 2013-2014.

J Immunol Sci 2021 Apr;Spec Issue(2):1117

WHO Horn of Africa Coordination Office (HOA), Nairobi KENYA.

Background: Between 2013 and 2014, the Horn of Africa countries experienced a severe and prolonged outbreak of polio viruses. It started in one district in Somalia but quickly became a national and even international disaster, crossing international boundaries into Kenya and Ethiopia. This paper documents experiences in the establishment and contributions of the Polio Communication Network (PCN) to the polio outbreak response in the outbreak countries of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia from 2013 to 2015. Read More

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A digital intervention targeting cognitive control network dysfunction in middle age and older adults with major depression.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 May 4;11(1):269. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Nonpharmacological interventions targeting putative network mechanisms of major depressive disorder (MDD) may represent novel treatments. This mechanistic study investigates how a video game-like intervention, designed to improve cognitive control network (CCN) functioning by targeting multitasking, influences the CCN of middle-aged and older adults with MDD. The sample consisted of 34 adults aged 45-75 with SCID-defined diagnosis of MDD, Hamilton depression rating scale scores ≥20, and a deficit in cognitive control. Read More

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The effects of conditioning and lentiviral vector pseudotype on short- and long-term airway reporter gene expression in mice.

Hum Gene Ther 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Women's and Children's Hospital Adelaide, 6053, Respiratory and sleep medicine, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia;

A gene-addition therapy into the conducting airway epithelium is a potential cure for cystic fibrosis lung disease. Achieving sustained lung gene expression has proven difficult due to the natural barriers of the lung. The development of lentiviral (LV) vectors pseudotyped with viral envelopes that have a natural tropism to the airway has enabled persistent gene expression to be achieved in vivo. Read More

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Bolaamphiphilic Bis-Dehydropeptide Hydrogels as Potential Drug Release Systems.

Gels 2021 Apr 29;7(2). Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Center of Chemistry, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal.

The self-assembly of nanometric structures from molecular building blocks is an effective way to make new functional materials for biological and technological applications. In this work, four symmetrical bolaamphiphiles based on dehydrodipeptides (phenylalanyldehydrophenylalanine and tyrosyldehydrophenylalanine) linked through phenyl or naphthyl linkers (terephthalic acid and 2,6-naphthalenedicarboxylic acid) were prepared, and their self-assembly properties were studied. The results showed that all compounds, with the exception of the bolaamphiphile of tyrosyldehydrophenylalanine and 2,6-naphthalene dicarboxylic acid, gave self-standing hydrogels with critical gelation concentrations of 0. Read More

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Attention and Default Mode Network Assessments of Meditation Experience during Active Cognition and Rest.

Brain Sci 2021 Apr 29;11(5). Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Meditation experience has previously been shown to improve performance on behavioral assessments of attention, but the neural bases of this improvement are unknown. Two prominent, strongly competing networks exist in the human cortex: a dorsal attention network, that is activated during focused attention, and a default mode network, that is suppressed during attentionally demanding tasks. Prior studies suggest that strong anti-correlations between these networks indicate good brain health. Read More

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Exploiting vulnerabilities of SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complexes for cancer therapy.

Oncogene 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Multi-subunit ATPase-dependent chromatin remodelling complexes SWI/SNF (switch/sucrose non-fermentable) are fundamental epigenetic regulators of gene transcription. Functional genomic studies revealed a remarkable mutation prevalence of SWI/SNF-encoding genes in 20-25% of all human cancers, frequently driving oncogenic programmes. Some SWI/SNF-mutant cancers are hypersensitive to perturbations in other SWI/SNF subunits, regulatory proteins and distinct biological pathways, often resulting in sustained anticancer effects and synthetic lethal interactions. Read More

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Photo/thermal response of polypyrrole-modified calcium alginate/gelatin microspheres based on helix-coil structural transition and the controlled release of agrochemicals.

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 2021 Apr 19;204:111776. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

School of Water and Environment, Chang'an University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710054, PR China; Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effects in Arid Region, Ministry of Education, Xi'an, 710054, PR China.

Responsive controlled-release systems can not only improve the efficiency of agrochemical utilization but also increase crop yield and reduce environmental pollution caused by excessive use of agrochemicals. In this paper, the helix-coil structural transition of gelatin was adopted to construct a novel stimuli-responsive controlled-release system called polypyrrole/Ca-alginate/gelatin (PPy/Ca-alginate/Gel). In PPy/Ca-alginate/Gel, Ca-alginate and gelatin form a semi-interpenetrating network in which uncross-linked gelatin can undergo a free helix-coil structural transition due to the photothermal effect of PPy. Read More

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Employing machine learning and microscopy images of AIB1-stained biopsy material to assess the 5-year survival of patients with colorectal cancer.

Microsc Res Tech 2021 Apr 30. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Medical Physics, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Patras, Patras, Greece.

Our purpose was to employ microscopy images of amplified in breast cancer 1 (AIB1)-stained biopsy material of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) to: (a) find statistically significant differences (SSDs) in the texture and color of the epithelial gland tissue, between 5-year survivors and non-survivors after the first diagnosis and (b) employ machine learning (ML) methods for predicting the CRC-patient 5-year survival. We collected biopsy material from 54 patients with diagnosed CRC from the archives of the University Hospital of Patras, Greece. Twenty-six of the patients had survived 5 years after the first diagnosis. Read More

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Characterization of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Systemic Sclerosis Monocytes: A Potential Role for PSMB8-AS1 in Altered Cytokine Secretion.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 22;22(9). Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy.

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune disease mainly affecting the connective tissue. In SSc patients, monocytes are increased in circulation, infiltrate affected tissues, and show a pro-inflammatory activation status, including the so-called interferon (IFN) signature. We previously demonstrated that the dysregulation of the IFN response in SSc monocytes is sustained by altered epigenetic factors as well as by upregulation of the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) NRIR. Read More

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A Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in a Level 4 NICU-Golden Hour Management of Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Preterm Newborns.

Children (Basel) 2021 Apr 15;8(4). Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Golisano Children's Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 651, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Background: Prevention of chronic lung disease (CLD) requires a multidisciplinary approach spanning from the delivery room to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) discharge. In 2018, a quality improvement (QI) initiative commenced in a level 4 NICU with the goal of decreasing chronic lung disease rates below the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) average of 24%.

Methods: Improvement strategies focused on addressing the primary drivers of ventilation strategies, surfactant administration, non-invasive ventilation, medication use, and nutrition/fluid management. Read More

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Effect of Curcumin Addition on the Properties of Biodegradable Pectin/Chitosan Films.

Molecules 2021 Apr 8;26(8). Epub 2021 Apr 8.

School of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China.

A pectin/chitosan matrix-loaded curcumin film (PCCF) with a deep eutectic solvent (DES) as the solvent and plasticizer was prepared in this study. Different quantities of curcumin (identified as PCCF-0, PCCF-1, PCCF-2. PCCF-3) were loaded on the pectin/chitosan film in order to evaluate their effects on the film properties. Read More

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Injectable poly(γ-glutamic acid)-based biodegradable hydrogels with tunable gelation rate and mechanical strength.

J Mater Chem B 2021 Apr;9(16):3584-3594

Department of Applied Chemistry, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

Polypeptide-based hydrogels have potential applications in polymer therapeutics and regenerative medicine. However, designing reliable polypeptide-based hydrogels with a rapid injection time and controllable stiffness for clinical applications remains a challenge. Herein, a class of injectable poly(γ-glutamic acid) (PGA)-based hydrogels were constructed using furfurylamine and tyramine-modified PGA (PGA-Fa-Tyr) and the crosslinker dimaleimide poly(ethylene glycol) (MAL-PEG-MAL), through a facile strategy combining enzymatic crosslinking and Diels-Alder (DA) reaction. Read More

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