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Also Read: AI and Genetics: Discovery of Rare DNA Sequence

Large language models, also known as foundation models, are AI systems that learn fundamental knowledge from massive amounts of general data. They then apply that knowledge to accomplish new tasks, a process called transfer learning. These systems have recently gained mainstream attention with the release of ChatGPT, a chatbot built on a model from OpenAI.

Also Read: Breaking Barriers: ChatGPT’s Radiology Exam Triumph and Limitations Unveiled!

Geneformer: A Power Booster for Medical Research

Typically, to map gene networks, researchers rely on huge datasets that include many similar cells. They use a subset of AI systems, called machine learning platforms, to work out patterns within the data. For example, a machine learning algorithm could learn the gene network patterns that differentiate diseased samples from healthy ones, if trained on a large number of samples from patients with and without heart disease.

However, standard machine learning models in biology are trained to only accomplish a single task. In order for the models to accomplish a different task, they have to be retrained from scratch on new data. If researchers wanted to identify diseased kidney, lung, or brain cells from their healthy counterparts, they’d need to start over and train a new algorithm with data from those tissues. The issue is that for some diseases, there isn’t enough existing data to train these machine-learning models.

The Making of Geneformer

In the new study, Theodoris, Ellinor, and their colleagues tackled this problem by leveraging a machine learning technique called “transfer learning” to train Geneformer as a foundational model whose core knowledge can be transferred to new tasks. First, they “pre-trained” Geneformer to have a fundamental understanding of how genes interact by feeding it data about the activity level of genes in about 30 million cells from a broad range of human tissues.

To demonstrate that the transfer learning approach was working, the scientists then fine-tuned Geneformer to make predictions about the connections between genes or whether reducing the levels of certain genes would cause disease. Geneformer was able to make these predictions with much higher accuracy than alternative approaches because of the fundamental knowledge it gained during the pre-training process. In addition, Geneformer was able to make accurate predictions even when only shown a very small number of examples of relevant data.

Also Read: AI Discovers Antibiotic to Combat Deadly Bacteria

How Geneformer Works

They first asked Geneformer to predict which genes would have a detrimental effect on the development of cardiomyocytes, the muscle cells in the heart. Among the top genes identified by the model, many had already been associated with heart disease.

The model’s accurate prediction of heart disease-causing genes that were already known gave researchers the confidence that it could make accurate predictions going forward. However, other potentially important genes identified by Geneformer, such as the gene TEAD4, had not been previously associated with heart disease. When the researchers removed TEAD4 from cardiomyocytes in the lab, the cells could no longer beat as robustly as healthy cells. Therefore, Geneformer used transfer learning to make a new conclusion: Even though it had not been fed any information on cells lacking TEAD4, it correctly predicted the important role that TEAD4 plays in cardiomyocyte function.

Finally, the group asked Geneformer to predict the genes to be targeted to make diseased cardiomyocytes resemble healthy cells at a gene network level. When the researchers tested two of the proposed targets in cells affected by cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle), they indeed found that removing the predicted genes using CRISPR gene editing technology restored the beating ability of diseased cardiomyocytes.

Implications for Drug Discovery and Network-Correcting Therapies

“A benefit of using Geneformer was the ability to predict which genes could help to switch cells between healthy and disease states,” says Ellinor. “We were able to validate these predictions in cardiomyocytes in our laboratory at the Broad Institute.”

Additionally, Geneformer’s ability to predict gene networks that disrupt disease could lead to the development of network-correcting therapies. Rather than targeting individual genes or proteins, these therapies would aim to restore entire networks to their healthy states. This approach could potentially result in fewer side effects and greater efficacy than current therapies that target single genes or proteins.

Also Read: Groundbreaking News: FDA Grants Approval to Elon Musk’s Neuralink for Human Trials

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Best Examples Of Artificial Intelligence In Daily Life

You may have heard the term artificial intelligence many times before thinking that you didn’t have anything to do with it. It is possible that you searched for artificial intelligence and ended up here.

These are some examples of artificial intelligence you are likely to see regularly but don’t know about their AI aspect.

Best Examples of Artificial Intelligence in Daily Life Social Media

Also read: Best Top 10 Paid Online Survey Website in the World

Music and Media Streaming Services

Another example of AI is the music and media streaming services we use every day. AI makes decisions for you, whether you are using Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, or YouTube. These platforms make recommendations based on your preferences.

AI is at work when you next watch a recommendation video on YouTube or a show suggestion on Netflix.

Search Engines

Most people can’t imagine a day that goes by without searching for information or products on search engines such as Google, Yandex, or Bing. Search engines without artificial intelligence would not be able to scan the entire internet and provide what you need.

Navigation Apps

Artificial intelligence is essential for your daily commute to work. Google Maps and other navigation apps use AI to determine the speed of traffic. It also analyses user-reported events such as road accidents and road construction to determine how long it will take to reach your destination and recommend the fastest route.

Banking

Artificial intelligence is hot in the finance and banking industry. Artificial intelligence (AI) has a significant impact on the banking industry, from fraud detection to customer services and investing. AI is evident in automated emails sent by banks to customers outside of normal transactions.

Smart Devices

Many smart home products employ artificial intelligence to learn about our habits and adjust settings to ensure a seamless experience. Although it may take some time to get an AI-powered home, some steps will help us get there.

Also read: iPhone 14 Pro Max Is Apple’s New iPhone To Be Launched In September (Know The Release Date, Specification, Rumour & More)

Video Games

Many components that are driven by AI or similar apps can be found in many video games including strategy, racing, shooting, and strategy. AI is being integrated into gaming to create a realistic gaming experience that allows players to compete online. Companies are developing computer games to improve their algorithms by studying their patterns.

Chatbots

Chatbots can identify common words and phrases to help clients with their queries. Chatbots can be as accurate as real people and make it seem like you are chatting with them.

Chatbots mimic the natural language and can help with everyday tasks such as scheduling appointments, taking orders, and answering billing questions.

Healthcare

Healthcare has seen new opportunities thanks to artificial intelligence. The development of AI-powered robots has made it easier to diagnose and treat diseases. It also simplifies the management and treatment processes. Hospitals and healthcare organizations are adopting AI-enabled technologies quickly to aid in everything from diagnosis to research.

Security and surveillance

Although we might disagree about the ethics behind large surveillance systems, it is being used and AI plays a major role in it.

Also read: Top 10 Job Search Websites of 2023

Smart Personal Assistants

These smart digital assistants are becoming more important as they manage our digital lives. They can help with many tasks.

Here are some of their most common tasks:

Online shopping

Controlling internet-enabled devices

Setting alarms and reminder

Reservations for taxis, planes, and trains

Playing media

Conclusion

Machine Learning models can be trained with more data from users to improve their performance, thereby increasing Artificial Intelligence.

These are just a few examples of AI that are commonplace and simplify most of our everyday lives. This is enough evidence that AI is truly changing our lives and allowing us to focus more on the real problems.

The Us Can’t Agree On What A ‘Life

In the weeks since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, abolishing the nationwide right to an abortion, OB-GYNs and emergency room physicians are still figuring out how to provide the best care while working around vaguely worded and subjective bans. With little guidance, becoming eligible for emergency reproductive care is downright impossible in some states.

Amid mounting pressure, on July 8, President Joe Biden signed an executive order with steps to protect access to reproductive healthcare. Some involve access to reliable information for abortion and ensuring the right to emergency medical procedures for pregnant people. The executive order says the US Department of Health and Human Services will submit a report to him in 30 days outlining the plan.

While several reproductive rights organizations, such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, have lauded Biden’s efforts to improving abortion rights, others are concerned that the executive order will not have much impact. “It’s nice that Biden has issued this statement, but I’m not sure that it has much enforcement to it for states that are really intent on criminalizing people in the abortion space,” says Jennifer Kerns, an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. She adds that the federal government can only do so much because most of the power is handed to the states. 

[Related: The dangers of digital health monitoring in a post-Roe world]

One reason is that there is no nationwide guideline on what warrants an emergency abortion, so any procedures fall into a gray area of legal medicine. “The executive order sounds great in practice. But my feeling is that a lot of physicians and clinicians are still hesitant to provide abortion care where it’s been made illegal,” says Jessica Lee, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of Maryland and a fellow at the Physicians for Reproductive Health. “These doctors are probably struggling to decide how sick they let the patient become before they can say their life is at risk and not deal with legal ramifications.”

States with abortion bans that list exceptions for emergency abortions have left the wording ambiguous. The reality is that one life-threatening pregnancy in one state may not be in the other. For example, a doctor in Indiana is currently embroiled in a state lawsuit for performing an emergency abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio who was 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant. (Ohio has banned abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy unless a person’s life is endangered or the pregnancy causes bodily harm; Indiana allows abortions up to 22 weeks of pregnancy). The OB-GYN is being sued for allegedly failing to report the abortion, and Indiana state attorneys are arguing she also did not have the license to perform the procedure. “[The doctor] is now in a position of having to defend herself with attorneys when she did something that was even within the law. So it’s really an unfair position to be putting healthcare providers,” says Kerns. 

Another issue the executive order does not address is how criminalizing all abortions, including emergency care, affects the future of medicine. Lee says the US should expect to see 26 out of 50 states with significant abortion restrictions in the coming months (eight states have already passed bans), which can affect the medical training for new OB-GYNs who may be taught abortion care in one school but not the other. If so, people who need to seek out a life-saving abortion, and may qualify, still could have trouble accessing one because no in-state doctors can perform the procedure. “We’re going to see patients suffer nationally because of that,” Lee explains.

[Related: What’s the difference between morning-after pills and abortion medications?]

One silver lining: It’s not 1972. Both experts say pregnant people have more options than before, like abortion pills. Biden’s executive order has made it a priority for people to have access to abortion medications that the US Foods and Drug Administration approved as safe and effective two decades ago. Non-governmental organizations are also connecting patients with out-of-state telemedicine appointments and prescriptions for the pills. That said, the medications might not be able to help in cases of life-threatening pregnancies. If a person needs an emergency abortion, they probably can’t afford to wait for the pills to get shipped to their door. Planned Parenthood, for instance, says prescriptions can be mailed overnight, but the process of completing a virtual doctor’s appointment, lab tests, and medical history review can take a full one to two weeks. 

Both experts expect access to all kinds of abortions to remain an uphill legal battle. For example, days after Biden’s executive order, the Texas attorney general sued the federal government for infringing on the state’s rights by mandating all hospitals provide emergency abortions. And while Kern says abortion access for pregnant people is the priority, she adds that healthcare workers need protection, too. Without it, she warns, “providers who want to do the right thing are scared to do it.”

Cornell Engineers Develop Robotic Material Displaying Key Features Of Life

With more and more innovation coming along the way, technology is bridging the gap between human and machines. The line is becoming more blurred between machines and mortals. Experts have developed a new biomaterial which is not alive yet depicts three major traits of human life – metabolism, and self-assembly. Reportedly, this biomaterial can crawl forward like eukaryotic organisms. They also tend to grow new stands from the front as the older ones at the back decay and fall. The researchers have even set up a race among the different samples in the lab. The scientists have named it as DASH which stands for DNA-based Assembly and Synthesis of Hierarchical materials. The instructions encoded in the biomaterial for metabolism and regeneration is similar to the DNA in any living organism. Dan Luo from Cornell University in New York said, “We are introducing a brand new, life-like material concept powered by its very own artificial metabolism. We are not making something that’s alive, but we are creating materials that are much more life-like than have ever been seen before.”

With more and more innovation coming along the way, technology is bridging the gap between human and machines. The line is becoming more blurred between machines and mortals. Experts have developed a new biomaterial which is not alive yet depicts three major traits of human life – metabolism, and self-assembly. Reportedly, this biomaterial can crawl forward like eukaryotic organisms. They also tend to grow new stands from the front as the older ones at the back decay and fall. The researchers have even set up a race among the different samples in the lab. The scientists have named it as DASH which stands for DNA-based Assembly and Synthesis of Hierarchical materials. The instructions encoded in the biomaterial for metabolism and regeneration is similar to the DNA in any living organism. Dan Luo from Cornell University in New York said, “We are introducing a brand new, life-like material concept powered by its very own artificial metabolism. We are not making something that’s alive, but we are creating materials that are much more life-like than have ever been seen before.” DASH contains nanoscale building blocks at its core, which are responsible for rearranging materials into polymers. These polymers eventually form larger shapes while repeating the DNA chain. The biomaterial is grown from 55-nucleotide base seed sequence. These sequences combine with reaction solution to provide a liquid flow of energy. Next. the energy allows the DNA to synthesize new strands if its own. Luo further asserted, “Everything from its ability to move and compete, all those processes are self-contained. There’s no external interference. Life began billions of years from perhaps just a few kinds of molecules. This might be the same.” Shogo Hamada from Cornell University said, “The designs are still primitive, but they showed a new route to create dynamic machines from biomolecules. We are at a first step of building life-like robots by artificial metabolism. Even from a simple design, we were able to create sophisticated behaviors like racing. Artificial metabolism could open a new frontier in robotics.” Although the life-imitating feature of this biomaterial is quite basic, yet it sets the hope that one-day robots will construct other robots themselves resulting in self-replicating without owing much to human involvement.

The Best Google Docs Templates To Organize Your Life

Google Docs offers an astonishing variety of templates to handle every need of users. Instead of working hard to create a new document, you can use one of these customized, ready-to-use templates. All of them are free to edit and accessible from your Google Docs web interface. Let’s take a look at how you can use Google Docs templates to organize your life better as well as a selection of the best.

Google Docs Templates: An Overview

Apart from the blank design of a new document, Google Docs has a predefined set of templates for commonly used documents. To access them, you only have to sign in to Google Docs with any Google account. Alternatively, you can open Google Docs from Gmail’s Google Apps widget on the top right.

There are four options: Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. Choose any one and go to the “template gallery” on the top right. From there you can view several built-in templates for all four options.

These templates comprise everything from resumés, cover letters, business cards, flyers, brochures, photo albums, wedding planners, recipe books, portfolios, and so much more.

The Google Docs default templates may be adequate for you, but if you need more choices, use one of our free template recommendations below. These are open-source documents and absolutely free to edit as you please.

1. Resumé

If you really want your resumé to stand out, you’ll want your achievements to speak for themselves without the distraction of a flashy design. This Harvard Black and White resumé template by Resume Writer Direct is minimal, professional and viewer-friendly. The uncluttered text spacing allows you to present details in a logical order and provides a smooth transition from one paragraph to the next. Whether you are highly experienced or a newer professional, a classic resumé like this will never go out of fashion.

2. Cover Letter

While it’s a good idea to leave your resumé in black and white, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little color to a cover letter. This beautiful template by GeckoandFly has everything you need to draw the recruiter’s attention toward your application. Your photograph, full name, address, phone, email, and website are prominently displayed in their respective panels. You only have to focus on the Garamond-style message which looks very elegant, clear and brief.

3. Invoice

Creating an invoice on a blank document requires many fields to be entered and isn’t everyone’s forté. We, therefore, recommend this fully customizable invoice document from Waveapps, which makes it very easy to quickly add and delete items. The rows and columns are easily resizable, and the chosen font is easy on the eye. The header on top gives a professional appearance to your invoice with an option to add a logo and company details. You can also change the background and modify the footer.

4. Calendar

A good online calendar should have the flexibility to add as much information as needed for each given date, have space for smart scheduling, and allow everything to be viewable on a single screen. CalendarLabs fulfills these requirements with visually attractive calendar planners for both 2023 and 2023.

Thanks to the portrait layout, you can view all your activities without scrolling too much. Each date can accommodate as much or as little information as you want. There is a large notes area to capture any remaining events or follow-ups.

5. Brochure

While you can find many free brochure templates online, it’s more helpful to go for a trifold design (“three column layout”), as it will get you the maximum value for your brochure printing costs. This simple yet detailed trifold by GooDocs neatly packs a lot of decent features: attractive headings, legible font size, black and red colors, and a customizable front and back.

6. Flyer

To attract someone’s attention with a flyer, you need the valuable information, such as numbers and statistics, to leap out and be prominently visible. GooDocs has a customizable vegan food flyer which has been created by professional designers. You can edit the numbers and photographs for any kind of data, including pie charts, survey results, and restaurant menu items. The green color combinations are very soothing to the eye. There’s also space at the bottom for QR codes and contact details.

7. Newsletter

Like flyers, newsletters aim to be informative and appealing because it takes less than a split second to grab the attention of a reader. This beautiful dark orange corporate newsletter has a somewhat wicked touch. It won’t fail to focus the reader’s attention on the contents with its sleek design. The neatly divided panels can hold enough text, pictures, and data to be truly instructive in detail. Although it looks very attractive, you can easily modify the black/orange color scheme in Google Docs.

8. Business Card

If you want your contacts to keep your business card for future reference, it should definitely stand out from the others. GooDocs offers a creative business card with beautiful bold colors and a dash of personality, thanks to the cube blocks. There is enough space in the template to add your own touch of personalization, be it a photograph, logo, or idea/quote. The fact that this business card was designed by talented designers is another strong suit, as it helps cement your reputation for promotional needs.

9. Lesson Plan

If you’re a teacher, you want the classroom lesson plans to be detailed and informative, yet easily editable. This no-frills Google Sheets-based lesson plan template can be used for any subject, as a lot of classroom study information has been provided You only have to edit the cells and customize the sheet according to your own subject criteria. included are instructional sequences, notes, questions, evaluation of understanding, and closing activities pertaining to a subject.

10. Recipe Book

Would you like to put together a cookbook? It isn’t easy to find a Google Docs-compatible free recipe book online. Most are premium, and the free ones don’t have good aesthetics. An exception is this beautiful recipe book by GooDocs with its pleasant summer-green background, highlighted ingredients and directions. You can easily add any other food-related pictures. Whatever recipe you write, you can continue to add extra lines to have a complete set of instructions.

11. Project Plan Proposal 12. Expense Tracker

To manage household or other kinds of expenses, it’s good to have a weekly expense tracker. This handy weekly budget sheet by Reddit covers all expenses: credit card bills, groceries, gas, online subscriptions, car repair, pet care, medical expenses, insurance, travel, and anything else you want to add. The weekly sheet is stretchable to the full extent of the calendar. You can add more rows, weeks, and columns for the future. You can also combine the weekly budget figures into an annual expenses tally.

13. Travel Planner

The travel website LifeHacker has shared this travel info sheet which organizes all your travel-related concerns in a Google Sheets document. You can modify the cells easily and add as many rows as needed for your specific travel requirements. If you are systematic with a document like this, it will put all your travel information on your device, making it accessible on the go.

14. Wedding and Party Planner

Whether you’re planning a wedding or a big party, there are many items that need to be finalized. The Slides option in Google Docs allows you to stretch your imagination with creative designs to help manage every small aspect of your event. This wedding planner by GooDocs gives an elegant summary of your wedding/party itinerary. The floral design can be replicated across multiple slides and pages to add more items in the itinerary. This theme is attractive enough to be used in wedding invitation cards and more.

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Are Google Docs templates free?

All the templates in this list are absolutely free and ready-to-use. However, you can find many paid templates online which have more variety in design and choice. The built-in templates in Google Docs are always free.

2. How do I get more free templates for Google Docs?

If you’re looking for free templates, you can find a variety in Google Docs itself, across all our above categories. This website is an excellent repository of free templates that were created by professional designers. If you follow the social media feeds of template design companies online, such as Canva, they often share their latest designs for free, including in Google Docs.

3. Should I use Google Docs or Word?

Furthermore, you can easily convert Google Docs to Word and vice versa. We also have a keyboards shortcuts cheatsheet for Google Docs, which will save you much time.

Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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Ancient Fungi May Have Laid The Groundwork For Complex Life

Because of their delicate organic and decomposing nature, fossilized fungi are extremely rare. So rare, in fact, that a new discovery has just pushed back the earliest evidence of fungi by at least 500 million years—doubling their age.

Until now, the oldest confirmed fungal fossils dated to around 450 million years ago—about the same time that plants migrated from sea to land. One of the most famous fossilized fungi from this period is the Prototaxites, which could grow up to eight meters tall—leading to its misidentification for many years as a tree.

But previous examination of the fungal “molecular clock,” using DNA-based methods, suggested that fungi may have evolved much earlier, between 760 million and 1.06 billion years ago. Extracted from Arctic Canadian shales, the newly discovered billion-year-old fossilized fungal spores and hyphae (long thin tubes) plug the gap in the fossil record and suggest that fungi may have occupied land well before plants.

The fungal fossils were found in rocks that were probably once part a shallow-water estuary. Such environments are typically great for fungi thanks to nutrient-rich waters and the build up of washed-up organic matter to feed on. The high salinity, high mineral and low oxygen content of these ancient coastal habitats also provided great conditions to perfectly preserve the tough chitin molecules embedded within fungal cell walls that otherwise would have decomposed.

While it’s not certain whether the newly-discovered ancient fungi actually lived within the estuary or were washed into the sediments from the land, they show many of the distinctive features you’d expect in modern terrestrial fungi. The germinating spores are clearly defined, as are the branching, thread-like tubes that help fungi explore their environment, named hyphae. Even the cell walls are distinctively fungal, being made up of two clear layers. In fact, if you didn’t know they were so old, you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish them from modern fungi.

Fungal forefathers

As you might imagine from their ancient origins, fungi have played a critical role in shaping Earth’s terrestrial biosphere over the last billion years. The first plants to emerge onto land 500 million years ago formed intimate partnerships with fungi. Lacking roots, these early plants relied on their fungal partners to grow inside them and spread outwards into the primordial mineral soil. In a process known as biological weathering, fungal hyphae would secrete organic acids to dissolve rocks and extract nutrients held within. In return, the plants would transfer nutrients produced through photosynthesis to the fungi.

This exchange of resources between early plants and fungi powered the growth, evolution and diversification of Earth’s flora into ever more complex species, communities and ecosystems, and remains the norm today. Over 90% of land plants associate with a fungal partner of one type or another, and some are entirely dependent on fungal assistance to survive.

The symbiotic rise of land plants and their fungal partners also had dramatic effects on our atmosphere. Now with abundant access to mineral-based energy building blocks, plants evolved more efficient mechanisms for photosynthesis to capture this energy, for example through better control of the movement of carbon dioxide and water into and out of leaves. Over millions of years, this increased absorption of carbon dioxide produced a massive rise in oxygen concentrations, supporting the emergence of much larger, more complex animal life than the tiny insect-like life forms that previous oxygen levels could support.

The gathering of nutrients by fungal hyphae, collectively called a mycelium, is vital for healthy ecosystems. Kichigin/Shutterstock

From there, the evolutionary story is clear. But in showing that fungi probably arrived on land 500 million years before plants, the new fossil evidence raises fundamental questions about the start of this symbiotic journey.

It was previously thought that plants made the transition to terrestrial life simultaneously with aquatic fungal partners, but the new discovery opens up the possibility that Earth’s lands may have been already being prepared for successful plant life for hundreds of millions of years. Dissolving mineral-rich rocks and secreting carbon-based organic acids, we know that fungi were extremely important in converting barren lands into the fertile, carbon-rich soils we know today. It could be that the emergence of plant life was only made possible by aeons of groundwork by ancient fungal forefathers.

The outstanding challenge for scientists now is to resolve with certainty whether these ancient fungi were terrestrial in origin, and pinpoint their placement on the evolutionary tree of life. With the focus now on finding further fossil fungi, our understanding of the evolution of the early biosphere will make leaps and bounds.

What is already clear is that without fungi, we would not exist. Playing a vital role in the maintenance of healthy ecosystems across the planet, from the Antarctic deserts to the tropical rainforests, fungi underpin all life on Earth today. Now, it appears we may have another 500 million years to thank them for.

Katie Field is an Associate Professor in Plant-Soil Processes at the University of Leeds. This article was originally featured on The Conversation.

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