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Feb 2024 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Protective Al2O3 Thin Film Coating by ALD to Enhance the Anodic Stability of Metallic Current Collectors in Ethereal Mg Electrolyte Solutions

Ananya Maddegalla, Yogendra Kumar, Sri Harsha Akella, Sarah Taragin, Dmitry Brav-Zhivotovksii, Hari Krishna Sadhanala, Doron Aurbach, Malachi Noked

Organometallic complex-based magnesium electrolytes in ethereal solutions have been extensively studied in the context of rechargeable magnesium batteries (RMBs) due to their ability to facilitate highly reversible magnesium deposition while demonstrating wide enough electrochemical stability windows. However, these solutions containing a unique mixture of organo-halo aluminate complexes have a detrimental effect on the anodic stability of metallic current collectors for cathodes, like Ni and Al foils. We were able to synthesize and isolate Mg2Cl3(THF)6Ph2AlCl2/THF electrolyte as the sole electroactive species using simple precursors: Ph2AlCl and MgCl2 in THF, via atom efficient mono-chloro abstraction Schlenk technique. We characterized the anodic stability of Ni, Ni@C, Al, and Al@C current collectors by monitoring their electrochemical behavior. Additionally, we investigated the anodic stability …

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Feb 2024 • Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, 2024

NMR studies of lithium and sodium battery electrolytes

Nicole Leifer, Doron Aurbach, Steve G Greenbaum

This review focuses on the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in the study of lithium and sodium battery electrolytes. Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in electronic devices, electric vehicles, and renewable energy systems due to their high energy density, long cycle life, and low self-discharge rate. The sodium analog is still in the research phase, but has significant potential for future development. In both cases, the electrolyte plays a critical role in the performance and safety of these batteries. NMR spectroscopy provides a non-invasive and non-destructive method for investigating the structure, dynamics, and interactions of the electrolyte components, including the salts, solvents, and additives, at the molecular level. This work attempts to give a nearly comprehensive overview of the ways that NMR spectroscopy, both liquid and solid state, has been used in past and present studies …

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Feb 2024 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2402.13733

Laplace's first law of errors applied to diffusive motion

Omer Hamdi, Stanislav Burov, Eli Barkai

In biological, glassy, and active systems, various tracers exhibit Laplace-like, i.e., exponential, spreading of the diffusing packet of particles. The limitations of the central limit theorem in fully capturing the behaviors of such diffusive processes, especially in the tails, have been studied using the continuous time random walk model. For cases when the jump length distribution is super-exponential, e.g., a Gaussian, we use large deviations theory and relate it to the appearance of exponential tails. When the jump length distribution is sub-exponential the packet of spreading particles is described by the big jump principle. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach for finite time, indicating that rare events and the asymptotics of the large deviations rate function can be sampled for large length scales within a reasonably short measurement time.

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Feb 2024 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Misuse of XPS in Analyzing Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Batteries

Ortal Breuer, Yosef Gofer, Yuval Elias, Miryam Fayena-Greenstein, Doron Aurbach

One of the most powerful spectroscopic tools for battery analysis is X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS); however, its great power must be accompanied by great responsibility for authenticity. Fluorine is documented to be unstable under XPS conditions, and fluorinated salts used in Li batteries show photodecomposition. As all-solid-state batteries advance, demand for surface characterization is increasing. Here, a popular solid polymer electrolyte comprising a fluorinated salt in a PEO matrix was measured by XPS. Rapid photodecomposition after few minutes produced mainly LiF, initially not found on the surface. Not being aware of such artifacts may lead to an erroneous analysis of the characterized electrochemical system.

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Feb 2024 • ACS Applied Nano Materials

Superparamagnetic Amine-Functionalized Maghemite Nanoparticles as a Thixotropy Promoter for Hydrogels and Magnetic Field-Driven Diffusion-Controlled Drug Release

Sayan Ganguly, Poushali Das, Seshasai Srinivasan, Amin Reza Rajabzadeh, Xiaowu Shirley Tang, Shlomo Margel

Superparamagnetic nanoparticle-arrested hydrogel matrices have immense significance in smart soft biomaterials. Herein, we report the synthesis of superparamagnetic nanoparticle-loaded magneto-responsive tough elastomeric hydrogels for dual-responsive drug delivery. In the first phase of work, we carried out room-temperature synthesis of amine-functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs), and in the second phase of work, we demonstrated that IONPs could act as a toughening agent as well as a viscosity modifier for poly(acrylic acid-co-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) copolymer hydrogels. The hydrogel was tested by Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and continuous-wave-electron paramagnetic resonance (CW-EPR). Moreover, the IONPs affect its gelation time and elasticity significantly, which was also evaluated from its …

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Feb 2024 • Nucleic Acids Research

Nuclear RNA-related processes modulate the assembly of cytoplasmic RNA granules

Mor Angel, Eden Fleshler, Mohammad Khaled Atrash, Noa Kinor, Jennifer IC Benichou, Yaron Shav-Tal

Stress granules (SGs) are cytoplasmic assemblies formed under various stress conditions as a consequence of translation arrest. SGs contain RNA-binding proteins, ribosomal subunits and messenger RNAs (mRNAs). It is well known that mRNAs contribute to SG formation; however, the connection between SG assembly and nuclear processes that involve mRNAs is not well established. Here, we examine the effects of inhibiting mRNA transcription, splicing and export on the assembly of SGs and the related cytoplasmic P body (PB). We demonstrate that inhibition of mRNA transcription, splicing and export reduces the formation of canonical SGs in a eukaryotic initiation factor 2α phosphorylation-independent manner, and alters PB size and quantity. We find that the splicing inhibitor madrasin promotes the assembly of stress-like granules. We show that the addition of synthetic mRNAs directly to the cytoplasm …

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Feb 2024 • JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY

Protective Al2O3 Thin Film Coating by ALD to Enhance the Anodic Stability of Metallic Current Collectors in Ethereal Mg Electrolyte Solutions

Ananya Maddegalla, Yogendra Kumar, Sri Harsha Akella, Sarah Taragin, Dmitry Bravo-Zhivotovskii, Hari Krishna Sadhanala, Doron Aurbach, Malachi Noked

Rechargeable magnesium batteries (RMBs) have the potential to contribute towards alternative energy storage due to their low cost, high abundance, dendrites free deposition of Mg and high volumetric energy density. Organometallic complex-based electrolytes in ethereal solutions have been extensively studied in the context of RMBs due to their ability to facilitate highly reversible magnesium deposition in rechargeable magnesium batteries, while demonstrating wide enough electrochemical stability windows. However, these solutions containing unique mixture of organo-halo aluminate complexes have detrimental effect on the anodic stability of metallic current collectors for cathodes, like Ni and Al foils. In this work, we were able to synthesize and isolate Mg2Cl3(THF)(6)Ph2AlCl2/THF electrolyte as the sole electroactive species using simple precursors: Ph2AlCl and MgCl2 in THF, via atom efficient mono …

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Feb 2024 • Journal of Coatings Technology and Research

Engineering of new anti-biofilm phosphonium thin coatings onto polymeric films

Matan Nissim, Sivan Shoshani, Gila Jacobi, Eyal Malka, Ehud Banin, Shlomo Margel

Biofilms comprising sessile microorganisms attached to surfaces are increasingly researched for their importance in medicine and industry. Current studies focus on development of antibiotics that unfortunately can lead to resistance and environmental pollution. Phosphonium cations are known to exhibit significant activity with less resistance. Here, silane-phosphonium thin coatings are applied by Stöber polymerization of new silane-phosphonium monomer onto oxidized polypropylene film to eliminate phosphonium leaching and reduce the risk of environmental pollution. The composition and morphology were investigated by infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and contact angle measurements. Coating durability was assessed by adhesion test. The significant anti-biofilm activity against S. aureus and E. coli suggests applications in medicine and agriculture.

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Feb 2024 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

A Novel Approach for Post-Mortem Analysis in All-Solid-State Batteries: Isolating Solid Polymer Electrolytes from Lithium Anodes

Ortal Breuer, Ido Rozen, Nicole Leifer, Gayathri peta, Miryam Fayena-Greenstein, Doron Aurbach, Gil Goobes

Polymeric electrolytes are currently at the forefront of research for the next generation of lithium all-solid-state batteries. Polyethylene oxide (PEO), a commonly used polymer for these batteries, operates at elevated temperatures at which it reacts with active metal electrodes (e.g., lithium). Rich surface chemistry is developed at the Li-PEO interfaces, thereby controlling these batteries' electrochemical behavior. Interfacial studies are essential to comprehend batteries' stabilization or capacity fading mechanisms. For that, post-mortem analysis with an emphasis on interfaces is a necessary approach to underpinning these mechanisms. While it can be readily done with liquid electrolytes, post-mortem characterization of similar interfaces with solid electrolytes is hampered by the Li-PEO stack firm adhesion, which is impossible to separate. Here, various methods were attempted to separate polymer electrolytes from …

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Feb 2024 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2402.13733

Laplace's first law of errors applied to diffusive motion

Omer Hamdi, Stanislav Burov, Eli Barkai

In biological, glassy, and active systems, various tracers exhibit Laplace-like, i.e., exponential, spreading of the diffusing packet of particles. The limitations of the central limit theorem in fully capturing the behaviors of such diffusive processes, especially in the tails, have been studied using the continuous time random walk model. For cases when the jump length distribution is super-exponential, e.g., a Gaussian, we use large deviations theory and relate it to the appearance of exponential tails. When the jump length distribution is sub-exponential the packet of spreading particles is described by the big jump principle. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach for finite time, indicating that rare events and the asymptotics of the large deviations rate function can be sampled for large length scales within a reasonably short measurement time.

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Jan 2024 • Journal of the American Chemical Society

Introducing Electron Buffers into Intermetallic Pt Alloys against Surface Polarization for High-Performing Fuel Cells

Xuan Liu, Yuhan Wang, Jiashun Liang, Shenzhou Li, Siyang Zhang, Dong Su, Zhao Cai, Yunhui Huang, Lior Elbaz, Qing Li

Surface polarization under harsh electrochemical environments usually puts catalysts in a thermodynamically unstable state, which strictly hampers the thermodynamic stability of Pt-based catalysts in high-performance fuel cells. Here, we report a strategy by introducing electron buffers (variable-valence metals, M = Ti, V, Cr, and Nb) into intermetallic Pt alloy nanoparticle catalysts to suppress the surface polarization of Pt shells using the structurally ordered L10-M-PtFe as a proof of concept. Operando X-ray absorption spectra analysis suggests that with the potential increase, electron buffers, especially Cr, could facilitate an electron flow to form a electron-enriched Pt shell and thus weaken the surface polarization and tensile Pt strain. The best-performing L10-Cr-PtFe/C catalyst delivers superb oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity (mass activity = 1.41/1.02 A mgPt–1 at 0.9 V, rated power density = 14.0/9.2 W mg …

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Jan 2024 • Nature Communications

Dynamic stability of Sgt2 enables selective and privileged client handover in a chaperone triad

Hyunju Cho, Yumeng Liu, SangYoon Chung, Sowmya Chandrasekar, Shimon Weiss, Shu-ou Shan

Membrane protein biogenesis poses acute challenges to protein homeostasis, and how they are selectively escorted to the target membrane is not well understood. Here we address this question in the guided-entry-of-tail-anchored protein (GET) pathway, in which tail-anchored membrane proteins (TAs) are relayed through an Hsp70-Sgt2-Get3 chaperone triad for targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum. We show that the Hsp70 ATPase cycle and TA substrate drive dimeric Sgt2 from a wide-open conformation to a closed state, in which TAs are protected by both substrate binding domains of Sgt2. Get3 is privileged to receive TA from closed Sgt2, whereas off-pathway chaperones remove TAs from open Sgt2. Sgt2 closing is less favorable with suboptimal GET substrates, which are rejected during or after the Hsp70-to-Sgt2 handover. Our results demonstrate how fine-tuned conformational dynamics in Sgt2 enable …

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Jan 2024 • Quantum Science and Technology

Quantum circuits for measuring weak values, Kirkwood–Dirac quasiprobability distributions, and state spectra

Rafael Wagner, Zohar Schwartzman-Nowik, Ismael L Paiva, Amit Te’eni, Antonio Ruiz-Molero, Rui Soares Barbosa, Eliahu Cohen, Ernesto F Galvão

Weak values and Kirkwood–Dirac (KD) quasiprobability distributions have been independently associated with both foundational issues in quantum theory and advantages in quantum metrology. We propose simple quantum circuits to measure weak values, KD distributions, and spectra of density matrices without the need for post-selection. This is achieved by measuring unitary-invariant, relational properties of quantum states, which are functions of Bargmann invariants, the concept that underpins our unified perspective. Our circuits also enable experimental implementation of various functions of KD distributions, such as out-of-time-ordered correlators and the quantum Fisher information in post-selected parameter estimation, among others. An upshot is a unified view of nonclassicality in all those tasks. In particular, we discuss how negativity and imaginarity of Bargmann invariants relate to set coherence.

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Jan 2024 • ACS Infectious Diseases, 2024

Progress in Treatment and Diagnostics of Infectious Disease with Polymers

Sukanya Patra, Divya Pareek, Prem Shankar Gupta, Kirti Wasnik, Gurmeet Singh, Desh Deepak Yadav, Yitzhak Mastai, Pradip Paik

In this era of advanced technology and innovation, infectious diseases still cause significant morbidity and mortality, which need to be addressed. Despite overwhelming success in the development of vaccines, transmittable diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS remain unprotected, and the treatment is challenging due to frequent mutations of the pathogens. Formulations of new or existing drugs with polymeric materials have been explored as a promising new approach. Variations in shape, size, surface charge, internal morphology, and functionalization position polymer particles as a revolutionary material in healthcare. Here, an overview is provided of major diseases along with statistics on infection and death rates, focusing on polymer-based treatments and modes of action. Key issues are discussed in this review pertaining to current challenges and future perspectives.

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Jan 2024 • Plos Genetics

Failure to mate enhances investment in behaviors that may promote mating reward and impairs the ability to cope with stressors via a subpopulation of Neuropeptide F receptor …

Julia Ryvkin, Liora Omesi, Yong-Kyu Kim, Mali Levi, Hadar Pozeilov, Lital Barak-Buchris, Bella Agranovich, Ifat Abramovich, Eyal Gottlieb, Avi Jacob, Dick R Nässel, Ulrike Heberlein, Galit Shohat-Ophir

Living in dynamic environments such as the social domain, where interaction with others determines the reproductive success of individuals, requires the ability to recognize opportunities to obtain natural rewards and cope with challenges that are associated with achieving them. As such, actions that promote survival and reproduction are reinforced by the brain reward system, whereas coping with the challenges associated with obtaining these rewards is mediated by stress-response pathways, the activation of which can impair health and shorten lifespan. While much research has been devoted to understanding mechanisms underlying the way by which natural rewards are processed by the reward system, less attention has been given to the consequences of failure to obtain a desirable reward. As a model system to study the impact of failure to obtain a natural reward, we used the well-established courtship suppression paradigm in Drosophila melanogaster as means to induce repeated failures to obtain sexual reward in male flies. We discovered that beyond the known reduction in courtship actions caused by interaction with non-receptive females, repeated failures to mate induce a stress response characterized by persistent motivation to obtain the sexual reward, reduced male-male social interaction, and enhanced aggression. This frustrative-like state caused by the conflict between high motivation to obtain sexual reward and the inability to fulfill their mating drive impairs the capacity of rejected males to tolerate stressors such as starvation and oxidative stress. We further show that sensitivity to starvation and enhanced social arousal is …

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Jan 2024 • Surfaces and Interfaces

Heteroatom co-doping (N, NS, NB) on carbon dots and their antibacterial and antioxidant properties

Arumugam Saravanan, Poushali Das, Moorthy Maruthapandi, Saurav Aryal, Shulamit Michaeli, Yitzhak Mastai, John HT Luong, Aharon Gedanken

The development of new nanoparticle-based antibiotics with biocompatible properties is an emerging advance in nanotechnology. This study advocated the development of carbon dots (CDs) doped with nitrogen, nitrogen with sulfur, and nitrogen with boron (N, NS, and NB-CDs). This led to changes in the properties of the CDs, both chemically and biologically. A facile hydrothermal technique was used to synthesize CDs and the formation of CDs was confirmed through various analytical techniques. The CDs had sizes ranging from 3.2 – 4.8 nm and ζ-potential values of +13 to 27 mV. The doped CDs exhibited moderate changes in fluorescence behaviors depending on the excitation wavelength (λex). The N- and NB-doped CDs were effective at eliminating gram-negative pathogens (E. coli and K. pneumoniae), with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 300 µg/mL and 400 µg/mL, respectively. The …

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Jan 2024 • Physical Review Materials

Film morphology and substrate strain contributions to ramp reversal memory in

Avital Fried, Elihu Anouchi, Gili Cohen Taguri, Jonathan Shvartzberg, Amos Sharoni

The ramp reversal memory (RRM) effect that appears in thin films with temperature-driven insulator-metal transitions (IMTs) is a nonvolatile memory effect induced by a simple reversal of temperature ramping from heating to cooling during the phase-coexistence state of the IMT (when both metallic and insulating domains coexist). The memory of specific temperatures can be recorded by this ramp reversal, which appears as a resistance increase around the reversal temperatures. Previous studies showed RRM in V O 2, V 2 O 3, and NdNi O 3, indicating it is a general effect in relevant systems. These studies indicate the RRM originates from an increase in the critical temperature around phase boundaries of the coexisting metallic and insulating domains during the temperature ramp reversal. However, the physical mechanism responsible for the T C increase remains elusive. To enhance our understanding of the …

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Jan 2024 • Results in Physics

Generic arrays of surface-positioned and shallow-buried gold multi-shapes as reference samples to benchmark near-field microscopes. Part 1: Applications in s-SNOM depth imaging

Binyamin Kusnetz, Jeremy Belhassen, Denis E Tranca, Stefan G Stanciu, Stefan-Razvan Anton, Zeev Zalevsky, George A Stanciu, Avi Karsenty

A wide palette of nanoscale imaging techniques operating in the near-field regime has been reported to date, enabling an important number of scientific breakthroughs. While the tuning and benchmarking of near-field microscopes represent a very important step for optimizing the outputs of the imaging sessions, no generally acknowledged standards exist yet in terms of calibration of near-field microscopes, which would play an important role in fully exploiting the potential of these instruments. With this work, we aim to contribute to filling in this gap, by introducing a prototypical sample, that holds potential for becoming a benchmark with respect to comparing the performances of diverse near-field measurement techniques, including traditional, aperture based, scanning near field microscopy (SNOM), or apertureless variants, such as scattering-type scanning nearfield optical microscopy (s-SNOM). The proposed …

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Jan 2024 • Journal of Biological Chemistry

Nucleic acid hybridization-based detection of pathogenic RNA using microscale thermophoresis

Matan Yosef Avivi, Noga Touitou, Hanan Rohana, Batia Lerrer, Yaron Shav-Tal, Avi Peretz, Haim Yosef Cohen

Infectious diseases are one of the world’s leading causes of morbidity. Their rapid spread emphasizes the need for accurate and fast diagnostic methods for large-scale screening. Here, we describe a robust method for the detection of pathogens based on microscale thermophoresis (MST). The method involves the hybridization of a fluorescently labeled DNA probe to a target RNA, and the assessment of thermophoretic migration of the resulting complex in solution within a 2-30 second time window. We found that the thermophoretic migration of the nucleic acid-based probes is primarily determined by the fluorescent molecule used, rather than the nucleic acid sequence of the probe. Furthermore, a panel of uniformly labeled probes that bind to the same target RNA yields a more responsive detection pattern than a single probe, and moreover, can be used for detection of specific pathogen variants. In addition …

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Jan 2024 • Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids

A pipeline for identifying guide RNA sequences that promote RNA editing of nonsense mutations that cause inherited retinal diseases

Nina Schneider, Ricky Steinberg, Amit Eylon, Johanna Valensi, Galit Kadoch, Zohar Rosenwasser, Eyal Banin, Erez Y Levanon, Dror Sharon, Shay Ben-Aroya

Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) are endogenous enzymes catalyzing the deamination of adenosines to inosines, which are then read as guanosines during translation. This ability to re-code makes ADAR an attractive therapeutic tool to edit genetic mutations and reprogram genetic information at the mRNA level. Utilizing the endogenous ADARs, and guiding them to a selected target has a promising therapeutic potential. Indeed, different studies have reported several site-directed RNA editing approaches for making targeted base changes in RNA molecules. The basic strategy has been to use guide-RNAs (gRNAs) that hybridize and form a dsRNA structure with the desired RNA target due to ADAR activity in regions of dsRNA formation. Here we report on a novel pipeline for identifying disease-causing variants as candidates for RNA editing, utilizing a yeast-based screening system to select efficient …

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Jan 2024 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2401.01307

Restart uncertainty relation for monitored quantum dynamics

Ruoyu Yin, Qingyuan Wang, Sabine Tornow, Eli Barkai

We introduce a novel time-energy uncertainty relationship within the context of restarts in monitored quantum dynamics. Initially, we investigate the concept of ``first hitting time'' in quantum systems using an IBM quantum computer and a three-site ring graph as our starting point. Previous studies have established that the mean recurrence time, which represents the time taken to return to the initial state, is quantized as an integer multiple of the sampling time, displaying pointwise discontinuous transitions at resonances. Our findings demonstrate that, the natural utilization of the restart mechanism in laboratory experiments, driven by finite data collection time spans, leads to a broadening effect on the transitions of the mean recurrence time. Our newly proposed uncertainty relation captures the underlying essence of these phenomena, by connecting the broadening of the mean hitting time near resonances, to the intrinsic energies of the quantum system and to the fluctuations of recurrence time. This work not only contributes to our understanding of fundamental aspects related to quantum measurements and dynamics, but also offers practical insights for the design of efficient quantum algorithms with mid-circuit measurements.

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