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  • Winners Announcement: 2022 Governor's Awards for High Impact Research

    Twelfth Annual Event Honors Colorado’s Top Scientists and Engineers for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society November 14, 2022: CO-LABS has announced the four winners of the 2022 Governor's Award for High-Impact Research. Returning after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the event gathers scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials to celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs and institutions. The winners will be formally recognized and celebrated on Wednesday, December 14 from 4:30 pm -9:00pm at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard in Denver, Colorado. Winners’ information and registration details are available at www.2022GovAwards.com. “Colorado has one of the highest per capita concentrations of federal science, research and engineering facilities in the nation, with renowned scientists whose research has global impact in a range of fields including agriculture, climate and weather, earth science, materials science, natural resource management, renewable energy, space physics and quantum technologies,” said CO-LABS Executive Director Dan Powers. “This prestigious event provides a unique opportunity to connect with leading scientists, lab directors, business leaders and policymakers in an informal and celebratory setting, as we highlight the labs’ role in innovation and their significant contribution to the state economy.” There are four Awards this year, which recognize brilliant and impactful partnerships, technologies and research across a spectrum of scientific fields: • The Pathfinding Partnership Award recognizes research that engaged four or more distinct research entities in Colorado (with at least two being federally-funded labs) whose results leveraged the resources and strengths among partnering organizations – and demonstrate the power of collaboration. The winning project includes scientists from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES), CU Boulder’s Mechanical Engineering and Geography departments, the NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory, the NOAA Global Systems Laboratory, the NOAA National Weather Service, and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) – these groups rapidly coordinated risk assessment, outreach and extraordinary real-time data during the devastating Marshall Fire in Louisville and Superior, Colorado. They “helped ordinary people make extraordinary decisions”, and their ongoing research promises to help guide wildfire response and mitigation long into the future. For more info reach Katy Human, CIRES Communications Director, kathleen.human@colorado.edu 303-522-8961 • The Technology Transfer Award recognizes research that resulted in a technological solution with widespread and/or significantly measurable societal utilization, with related impact on a global challenge or issue. The winners include scientists led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Weather Service whose space weather research has led to a first-of-a-kind Whole Atmosphere Model and Ionosphere Plasmasphere Electrodynamics Model (WAM-IPE) which allows forecasters to provide better information to the public about potential impacts from solar storms. Collaboration with CIRES, CU Boulder, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, and NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center has brought this new model forward to provide crucial insight to various economic sectors—including communications, satellite and airline operations, human space flight, and navigation and surveying to mitigate damages. For more info reach Maureen O'Leary, NWS Deputy Director of Public Affairs, maureen.oleary@noaa.gov 202-578-5257 New for 2022 are these two categories: • The Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award spotlights the discoveries and remarkable work of someone having more recently started on their path of scientific discovery. We look for significant demonstration of initiative, Inspiration, collaboration skills, and other skills and attributes, including the ability to inform and inspire others. The winner is Dr. Rosimar (Rosi) Rios-Berrios, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Dr. Rios-Berrios is recognized internationally as an expert in the topics of mesoscale meteorology, tropical meteorology, and in tropical cyclones. She is engaged in significant leadership, outreach, and mentorship; she has published 17 articles and served as investigator and/or mission scientist on four field campaigns and two major awarded grants. She is frequently interviewed by major news outlets regarding her expertise and she is a founding member of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) “Forging Allies and Connections for Equity in Stem” (FACES) employee resource group and currently serves as a spokesperson for “Science Moms” (and is the only early career science mom). For more info reach David Hosansky, Media Relations Manager, UCAR/NCAR hosansky@ucar.edu 303-497-8611 • The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes discoveries with impacts that have developed over more than 15 years, that have revealed profound new understandings of foundational science and/or theories within a given field and the resulting impact on society. The winner is Dr. Michael E. Himmel. As a biofuels researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Dr. Himmel has redefined his field with insights on designing, modifying, and harnessing enzymes to turn such non-food biomass into a thriving sustainable fuels industry. Dr. Himmel has led hundreds of scientific studies in protein biochemistry, recombinant technology, enzyme engineering, microorganism discovery, macromolecules physico-chemistry, and all unit operations in biofuels production. These include comminution, thermal chemical pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation. Individually, each brought important insights on how to overcome biomass recalcitrance. Together, they have helped facilitate a phase change in the U.S. bioeconomy—pulling discoveries and technologies from the covers of scientific journals right up to the cusp of commercialization. For more info reach David Glickson, Media Relations Lead, David.Glickson@nrel.gov 303-275-4097 Regarding the Pathfinding Partnerships Award, University of Colorado Boulder Acting Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Institutes Massimo Ruzzene said “These two award-winning teams exemplify the best of the CU Boulder and NOAA collaboration. This high-impact work could not have happened without all contributors: federal, university, and other key experts.” The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) was recognized in two of the Awards, prompting this enthusiastic comment: “I am delighted to see CIRES researchers and our federal and university colleagues honored with two awards. Our scientists are extraordinarily collaborative and we work on research problems that can really make a difference in people’s lives,” said Waleed Abdalati, Director of CIRES at CU Boulder. “So it is especially meaningful to me that we’ve earned these honors for both ‘pathfinding partnerships’ and ‘technology transfer.’ Congratulations to our teams!” Regarding the Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award: "Dr. Rios-Berrios is a shining example of what it means to be a great scientist,” said her nominator Dr. Gretchen Mullendore, Director of the Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Lab at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “She is equally passionate about improving our understanding of weather and climate and about improving the research community to be more inclusive and representative." Regarding the Lifetime Achievement Award: “Michael Himmel has truly shaped the field of biofuels in a career spanning more than four decades. His groundbreaking, influential research has brought us ever closer to turning plant waste into sustainable fuel on a commercial scale, a significant achievement in the quest to decarbonize the aviation and maritime sectors,” said NREL Laboratory Director Martin Keller. “Michael's discoveries have served as a foundation for further innovation and application well beyond the laboratory. He is truly deserving of this Lifetime Achievement Award and we are incredibly proud to have him as a senior research fellow at NREL.” Numerous technology, research, economic development and engineering organizations with an interest in having a robust innovation ecosystem in Colorado are sponsoring the Awards; including Presenting Sponsor the Alliance for Sustainable Energy. Other major supporters include Colorado State University Office of the Vice President for Research, the University of Colorado Boulder Research and Innovation Office, Ball Aerospace, Xcel Energy, WinterWinds Robotics, Fennemore, Manufacturers EDGE, the Colorado School of Mines, and many more. Additional speakers and special guest announcements to come. Full details of the winning teams and their projects can be seen at www.2022GovAwards.com. About the Governor’s Awards for High Impact Research: Started in 2009, the annual Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research celebrates the brilliant ground-breaking discoveries and innovative research from Colorado’s ecosystem of federally-funded laboratories and institutions. That year, following the creation of CO-LABS in 2007, Governor Bill Ritter suggested hosting a celebratory and spotlighting event; the various labs were prompted to submit nominations and a Selection Committee was convened of professional researchers, technologists, academics and economic development experts to identify remarkable research having “high impact” on society. Each year at this event, CO-LABS spotlights the men and women creating our future through brilliant technological and engineering discoveries in aerospace, energy, agriculture, public health, weather prediction, wildlife ecology, communication, earth science and dozens of other fields of research right here in our Colorado communities. Over the years Colorado Governors Bill Ritter, John Hickenlooper and Jared Polis have presented and/or spoken in support of the winners with these awards, recognizing their impact on our country's leadership in science. On November 12, 2019 we celebrated brilliant discoveries from the realms of atmospheric science, nanotechnology and laser physics, extreme weather and flood dynamics, global greenhouse gas tracking, and tax-payer funded grants enabling commercialization of Nobel-Prize winning technology to track methane leaks - and all projects were the result of amazingly creative, complex and necessary multi-agency partnerships. The 2019 event gathered 250 scientific, economic development, technology and civic leaders at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for an evening of inspiring recognition. See video spotlights from 2019.

  • Nov. 9: Tour the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

    On Wednesday, November 9, 2022 CO-LABS has arranged a tour of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU Boulder on Wednesday, November 9, 2022. This event has only 12 spots left, RSVP today. (See info below about Google registration forms.) LASP is at the forefront of the development of new technologies and approaches to advance space-based research. This institute is part of the University of Colorado Boulder, the #1 public university recipient of NASA research grants and one of America’s leading aerospace universities. With a dozen or more flight programs in development at any time, the capability to build multiple instruments simultaneously, and the demonstrated experience to concurrently operate more than 100 space instruments, LASP is a leader in space exploration. LASP offers extensive engineering facilities to develop and test spacecraft on site. Their state-of-the-art test and calibration facilities allow engineers to work in tandem with scientists, mission operators, and software developers to create “test-like-you-fly” scenarios. Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 Time: 3:30 - 5:00 pm (optional social hour off-site) Location: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, CO (details send to attendees) Info: https://lasp.colorado.edu/home/ Cost: free for CO-LABS members and guests Regarding Google Form signups: RSVP at this link. Note: It may show "Sign in to Google to save your progress. Learn more" You don't have to have a Gmail account to RSVP, click on the "Learn More" link and you can RSVP without logging in.

  • Nov. 2: LASP Presents GTOSat: Venturing Where no CubeSat Has Gone Before

    CubeSats are NASA’s newest—and smallest—class of spacecraft. These nanosatellites, often about the size of a cereal box, enable rapid, low-cost exploration of the space environment around Earth and beyond. This November 2, 2022 webinar by Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics will introduce CubeSats, explore the dynamics of Earth’s radiation belts, and discuss the upcoming GTOSat CubeSat mission, which will study the radiation belts from a highly elliptical orbit, an environment in which CubeSats have never flown before. These tiny explorers provide crucial observations for understanding space physics and the dynamic radiation environment in near-Earth space. In particular, they help researchers study high-energy charged particles trapped by Earth’s magnetic field, in what are known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts. These radiation belts are highly dynamic, with often unpredictable variations in their intensity and spatial extent. Understanding this changing environment is critical to mitigate the harm energetic particles can cause to safeguard spacecraft and astronauts as they explore space. Did you know: LASP is the world’s only academic research institute to send instruments to all eight planets, Pluto, the sun…and beyond. Read more about LASP>>> ALSO: CO-LABS will have a small group tour at LASP on Wednesday, November 9. Reach dan at co-labs.org for more information.

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  • Join CO-LABS

    Join CO-LABS Do You Believe Science Matters? ​ Imagine connecting with the spectrum of brilliant researchers shaping the future of Colorado's leadership in science - and supporting this network with your organization and personal involvement. Prepare to make inspiring, relevant connections as a CO-LABS member. ​ The CO-LABS consortium includes Colorado federal research laboratories, research universities, state and local governments, economic development organizations, private businesses and nonprofit organizations. Plus, individuals with a savvy and principled support for science. ​ Your support includes funding for COLABS’ Economic Impact studies that quantify the significant contributions of federally funded labs to Colorado’s economy. You can also access special events, tours, reports and connections with Colorado’s innovative scientific resources. ​ "I have worked for companies that spun out of both NREL and JILA. These companies provide scientific equipment to a global community working on solving some of our most important problems. CO-LABS is doing a great service to the scientific community and the Colorado economy by bringing people from a wide variety of backgrounds together and highlighting the activities that take place here. My participation in events hosted by CO-LABS has helped foster strong connections with other participants and together, through our networks, we have made each other more successful business people, better communicators, and more involved in the political process.Thanks for all you do!” - Orri Jonsson, Sales & Marketing Manager, ColdQuanta Membership Levels: ​ CHAMPION Our top level membership. ​ Includes exclusive gatherings, presentations and access to Awards, tours, luncheons and conference calls and curated introductions with VIPs $3000/year Click for Info PROMOTER Special access to tours, reports and gatherings, including significant exposure within CO-LABS communications ​ and more ​ $1250/yr Click for Info SUPPORTER Engaging your organization with tours, presentation, networking and CO-LABS communications ​ and more ​ ​ $600/year Click for Info INDIVIDUAL ​ Basic membership for event and lab tour access, and support for CO-LABS ' mission and activities ​ $100/year Click for Info EVENT SPONSOR Options for ​ your organization to be highlighted at the annual Awards event, special workshops and gatherings Click for Info FRIENDS OF CO-LABS In-kind support for CO-LABS includes legal, administrative and communications projects, with access to events and other mutual benefits Click for Info

  • CO-LABS: Federal Research Labs in Colorado Science

    Championing Colorado's World-Class Research Ecosystem We Connect Colorado's Scientists, Universities & Businesses Federal lab internships & jobs #ScienceMatters CDC News: COVID-19 Info DID YOU KNOW? Colorado Has Over 30 Federal TaxPayer-Funded Scientific Research Labs From agriculture to aerospace, geology to GPS, extreme weather to quantum physics, even wildlife biology to ice cores (and more!) the range of crucial, world-class research in our state is astounding. Nurturing this network is our mission. We aim to keep these labs funded , and keep them here . ​ We connect technologists to help manifest scientific discoveries improving the world - Let us connect you with brilliance! PROMOTE We get into the numbers, the ROI, answer the "who cares " question. We promote the economic and intellectual value of taxpayer-funded research through reports, studies and media coverage. ​ EDUCATE We spotlight incredible work by Colorado's world-class scientists. ​ We communicate the value of Colorado's federal research labs with newsletters, podcasts, social media and interviews. CONNECT We connect smart, curious people with scientific research labs. ​ We host lab tours, conference calls, workshops and special gatherings to connect you with brilliance. “CO-LABS does outstanding work for Colorado’s science community, supporting research labs that advance the frontiers of knowledge as well as sustain Colorado’s diverse economy. Its mission strengthens productive connections among research facilities and vital stakeholders across the state. I deeply appreciate the dedication of CO-LABS and look forward to continuing collaborations with this important organization.” ​ - Antonio J. Busalacchi President, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) NEWS Nov. 9: Tour the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics Nov. 2: LASP Presents GTOSat: Venturing Where no CubeSat Has Gone Before Oct. 25: Cybersecurity for Remote Work SAVE THE DATE: December 14, 2022 The return of the Governor's Awards for High Impact Research, in person at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science! Winners announcement coming mid-November with online registration and more details. SPONSORSHIP OPTIONS Presented by: Hosted by: For the Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR), m any of our members are small and medium businesses who may not understand the value of the labs that are in our own backyard - CO-LABS provides tours and opportunities for sharing information that allows our membership to tap into the work of amazing scientists and create new partnerships. I believe it is important to keep these lines of communication and opportunity open for all.” Alires Almon, Founder, Deep Space Predictive & Chair, Colorado Space Business Roundtable

  • 2017 Governor's Awards Science Discoveries in Colorado

    Ninth Annual Event Honored Colorado’s Top Scientists and Engineers for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society ​ From the quantum realm of bioscience to the vanguard of atmospheric physics, from the technology advancing new possibilities in manufacturing to crucial new assessments of severe weather – CO-LABS was proud to convene more than 200 fellow champions of science at Colorado's premier scientific research recognition event on October 5, 2017. Researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, technology experts, STEM educators and government officials mingled and celebrated the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs! ​ Presented By: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ WINNER: JILA and Dr. Tom Perkins' New Twists in the Molecules of Life ​ ​ Principal Investigator: Thomas T. Perkins, Ph.D. Fellow of JILA & Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, University of Colorado WINNER: Seeing More with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Principal Investigators: Dr. Robert Keller, Leader, Nanoscale Reliability Group, NIST Dr. Roy Geiss, Analytical Specialist TEM/SEM, Colorado State University Dr. Katherine Rice, Applications Scientist, CAMECA WINNER: GPS Reflections: Innovative Techniques NOAA/CU-Boulder/UCAR ​ ​ ​ ​ Principal Investigators: Kristine Larson, Professor, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado John Braun, Project Scientist, UCAR COSMIC Program Eric Small, Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado Valery Zavorotny, Physicist, Physical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA WINNER: GOES-16 the New Generation of Geostationary Weather Satellites Cooperative Institute For Research in the Atmospheric (CIRA) ​ ​ ​ ​ Principal Investigators: Steven Miller, Senior Research Scientist, CIRA Curtis Seaman, Research Scientist, CIRA Daniel Lindsey, Research Meteorologist, NOAA/NESDIS/RAMMB ​ Watch their Spotlight Videos - and say "WOW!"​ ​ Read the Press Release ​ 2017 Governor's Awards for High Impact R... All Categories Play Video Play Video 02:04 CO-LABS 2017 CO LABS Governor's Award for High Impact Research event The 2017 CO-LABS Governor's Awards for High Impact Research event on October 5, 2017 recognized four significant research projects with an audience of over 220 supporters of science. From the quantum realm of bioscience to the vanguard of atmospheric physics, from the technology advancing new possibilities in manufacturing to crucial new assessments of severe weather – CO-LABS was proud to convene more than 200 fellow champions of science at Colorado's premier scientific research recognition event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, technology experts, STEM educators and government officials mingled and celebrated the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs! See the winning projects' individual videos for more details. This year's winners are • JILA and Dr. Tom Perkins' New twists in the molecules of life • NIST - Seeing More with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) • NOAA/CU-Boulder/UCAR - GPS Reflections: Innovative Techniques • CIRA - GOES-16 the New Generation of Geostationary Weather Satellites Also for 2017 there are three Honorable Mentions: • USDA ARS - Sugar Beet research with High Impact in Colorado, the USA and the World • CIRES - Snow Research Improves Avalanche Safety, Water Resource Management • NOAA ESRL- Science on a Sphere and SOS Explorer visualization systems James Balog gave the keynote, speaking on “The Value of Scientific Research in the Anthropocene.” Mr. Balog is the world-renowned photographer featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary Chasing Ice and founder of the Extreme Ice Survey. His insight into global environmental and societal trends, and the crucial role research plays in assessing complex factors shaping our world make him a compelling addition to this year’s CO-LABS Awards ceremony. “I've always believed that photography is a way to shape human perception,” says Mr. Balog. “I look forward to joining the esteemed guests at the Governor’s Awards to discuss and share imagery that highlights the power of art and science to not only reveal incredibly profound forces in nature but also to be a source of inspiration and solutions to our most prevalent and pressing societal challenges.” (Read more his work at http://extremeicesurvey.org ) “The projects in this year’s CO-LABS High-Impact Awards spotlight what makes Colorado a leader in innovation It’s terrific to see research advance its partnerships with the private sector. The range of crucial and profound discoveries coming from these labs are a national asset,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “I congratulate the scientific teams for their groundbreaking work and am excited to see the mark they will leave on our state and society as a whole.” Representing Governor Hickenlooper was the state’s Chief Innovation Officer Erik Mitisek. Play Video Play Video 02:59 CO-LABS Governor Awards '17- CIRA Play Video Play Video 02:55 CO-LABS Governor Awards'17-NIST Play Video Play Video 02:19 CO-LABS Governor's Awards '17-NOAA-CU-UCAR Play Video Play Video 02:46 CO-LABS JILA - WINNER 2017 CO-LABS Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research JILA and Dr. Tom Perkins' New Twists in the Molecules of Life - JILA is a joint research institute of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Principal Investigator: Thomas T. Perkins, Ph.D. Fellow of JILA & Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Dr. Tom Perkins of JILA has partnered with the biotech industry to develop powerful new tools to dramatically improve the measurement and understanding of the complex structure and function of single proteins and nucleic acids - in real time and under real-world biological conditions. Dr. Perkins has developed the world’s most sensitive atomic force microscope (AFM), and applied it to making the world’s most precise measurements of the structural details of individual protein and nucleic acid molecules. With this tool, he is now able to observe these large and complex molecules fold and unfold as they perform their crucial biological functions. Dr. Perkins has worked with AFM manufacturers to develop the world’s most sensitive AFM–with 100 times better resolution of position, force, and time than previous AFMs. The custom-made cantilevers for these machines are able to operate in the wet, warm environment of living cells. Dr. Perkins has teamed up with pharmaceutical/biotech companies to apply his unique AFM technology to make ultraprecise measurements of real-time folding and unfolding of individual protein and nucleic acid molecules for the first time. These experiments are creating rich new opportunities for medical diagnostics, treatments, and fundamental biomedical research; the AFM technology recognized by this award can directly advance biomedical research and lead to new biotech products. Dr. Perkins has transferred his technology through inventions and patents, through widely cited scientific publications, through direct collaborations with industry, and through training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to advance this revolutionary technology at AFM and biotech companies. Learn more at https://goo.gl/FVs62Z 2018 Governor's Awards Read More 2017 Governor's Awards Read More 2016 Governor's Awards Read More James Balog was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Governor’s Awards for High Impact Research event, speaking on “The Value of Scientific Research in the Anthropocene.” Mr. Balog is the world-renowned photographer featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary Chasing Ice and founder of the Extreme Ice Survey. His insight into global environmental and societal trends, and the crucial role research plays in assessing complex factors shaping our world make him a compelling addition to this year’s CO-LABS Awards ceremony. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ “I've always believed that photography is a way to shape human perception,” says Mr. Balog. “I look forward to joining the esteemed guests at the Governor’s Awards to discuss and share imagery that highlights the power of art and science to not only reveal incredibly profound forces in nature but also to be a source of inspiration and solutions to our most prevalent and pressing societal challenges.” (Read more about Mr. Balog below.) History of the Governor’s Awards for High Impact Research: Started in 2009, the annual Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research celebrates the brilliant ground-breaking discoveries and innovative research from Colorado’s ecosystem of federally-funded laboratories and institutions. That year, following the creation of CO-LABS in 2007, Governor Bill Ritter suggested hosting a celebratory and spotlighting event; the various labs were prompted to submit nominations and a Selection Committee was convened of professional researchers, technologists, academics and economic development experts to identify remarkable research having “high impact” on society. Each year at this event, CO-LABS spotlights the men and women creating our future through brilliant technological and engineering discoveries in aerospace, energy, agriculture, public health, weather prediction, wildlife ecology, communication, earth science and dozens of other fields of research right here in our communities. Over the years Colorado Governors Ritter and Hickenlooper have presented winners with these awards and comments recognizing their impact on our country's leadership in science. ​

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