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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

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Old 02-12-2014, 08:25 PM   #1336
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Holy ****ing shit fish. That is ****ing amazing. That type of pinpoint precision could be revolutionary in the treatment of diffuse and/or or anatomically unresectable cancers.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:25 PM   #1337
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Nanomotors Steered Inside Living Human Cells For the First Time



A group of researchers from Penn State have pushed the realm of possibilities for nanotechnology further as they have successfully steered a nanomotor inside of a human cell. This is the first time this feat has been accomplished. The team of chemists, biologist, and engineers was led by Tom Mallouk and has been published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Nanomotors have been studied in vitro more more than a decade now. The hope is that eventually, they could be used inside of human cells for biomedical research. This nanotechnology could revolutionize drug delivery and even perform surgery in order to increase quality of life in the least invasive way possible. The earliest models were nonfunctional in biological fluid due to their fuel source. A huge breakthrough came later when the nanomotors were able to be powered externally via acoustic waves. The nanomotors used inside the human cells for the latest study were controlled by the ultrasonic waves as well as magnets.

The researchers used HeLa cells, derived from a long-lived line of cervical cancer cells, to study the nanomotors. Getting past the cell membrane was easy, as the cells ingested the nanomotors themselves. Once inside, the ultrasound was turned on and the nanomotors began to spin and move around the cell. If the signal was turned up even higher, the nanomotor can spin like a propeller, chopping up the organelles inside the cell. They were even able to puncture the cell membrane, finishing off the death sentence. Used at low powers, the nanomotor was able to move around the cell without causing any damage.

The addition of magnets gave an important advantage: steering. The motors are also able to be controlled individually, allowing the operator to take a much more targeted approach to killing diseased cells.

Ultimately, the researchers hope that one day the rocket-shaped gold nanorods will be able to move in an out of the cells without causing damage. The individual units could communicate with one another to target disease in the body, maximizing the efficacy of the treatment or even making the correct diagnosis. Working toward the goal of creating such advanced nanotechnology will not only push the boundaries of nanoengineering, but will increase our understanding of chemical and biological processes at the cellular level as well.

- See more at: http://www.iflscience.com/technology...erlay-context=


“The assembly of a rotating HeLa cell/gold rod aggregate at an acoustic nodal line in the xy plane. The video was taken under 500X overall magnification except for 00:23 - 00:32 and 01:16 - 01:42, where a 200X overall magnification was used.” Credit: Mallouk Lab, Penn State


“Very active gold nanorods internalized inside HeLa cells in an acoustic field. A demonstration of very active gold nanorods internalized inside HeLa cells in an acoustic field. This video was taken under 1000X magnification in the bright field, with most of the incoming light blocked at the aperture.” Credit: Mallouk Lab, Penn State
Holy shit if we could target nanotech to specific cells.............thats a game changer to say the least
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:34 PM   #1338
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Imagine training a computer to identify cancer cells with specific characteristics unlike normal cells (dense nuclei, increased mitotic activity, highly basophilic/RNA dense cytoplasm, abnormal shape and size, etc), and sending in those bastards to do the dirty work. Totally theoretical, and I don't even know if it's possible, but it sure gets me wet just thinking about it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:43 PM   #1339
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Imagine training a computer to identify cancer cells with specific characteristics unlike normal cells (dense nuclei, increased mitotic activity, highly basophilic/RNA dense cytoplasm, abnormal shape and size, etc), and sending in those bastards to do the dirty work. Totally theoretical, and I don't even know if it's possible, but it sure gets me wet just thinking about it.
I might say something like Science boner, or Research tent, you know something like that. But hey, it's cool girl.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:47 PM   #1340
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:10 PM   #1341
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I might say something like Science boner, or Research tent, you know something like that. But hey, it's cool girl.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:39 PM   #1342
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Stupid crows....



Crows could be the key to understanding alien intelligence

Crows are among the planet's most intelligent animals, teaching their young to use tools for foraging and banding together to fight off intruders. Now, the first study of how abstract reasoning works in these birds' brains could shed light on how intelligence works in a truly alien, non-mammal brain.

We've studied brain structure pretty extensively in mammals from humans and apes to whales and mice. But German neuroscientists Lena Veit and Andreas Nieder are the first to watch what happens in crow brains as these birds worked their way through a series of brain-teasers. They actually wired the crows' brains up with electrodes, watching as individual neurons fired when the crows did a test that required abstract reasoning. What Veit and Nieder found reveals a lot about what intelligence looks like in a brain that's nothing like our own.

The Evolution of Intelligence

The crow, and some of its relatives in the corvid family (such as jays and magpies), are among the only intelligent species we've encountered outside the world of mammals. But their brains are utterly different from ours. The mammalian seat of reason is in our prefrontal cortex, a thin layer of nerve-riddled tissue on the outside of the front region of our brains. Birds have no prefrontal cortex (PFC). Instead, they have the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), which is located toward the middle of their brains. You can see the different regions in the image, below.



The thing that's really interesting about comparing bird and human intelligence is that we did not evolve from a common, intelligent ancestor. Our last common ancestor with birds lived during the Permian period, about 300 million years ago, before the age of dinosaurs. It probably looked like a cross between a reptile and a rodent, and was roughly the size of a big raccoon.

This ancestor's simple brain was ruled by instinct rather than higher-level cognition. Still, lurking inside its rather small skull was a brain part called the pallium, which over millions of years evolved into the PFC in mammals and the NCL in birds. That makes mammal and bird intelligence an excellent example of parallel evolution — both groups of animals developed intelligence independently of one another.

Despite all their differences, the PFC and NCL have a few features in common. Veit and Nieder write in Nature Communications that both regions are involved in "working memory, reversal learning and reward prediction." The areas also "share important properties such as dense innervation by dopaminergic fibres and connectivity patterns with multiple sensory input, limbic and motor output regions." What that means is that the NCL and PFC are both packed with neurons, or nerve cells, that respond to the crucial neurotransmitter dopamine. Its neurons are also connected to the parts of the brain that handle memory, emotion, and body movements. The PFC and NCL are brain command centers, synthesizing information from a vast array of inputs and outputs.

Testing Crows' Ability to Reason

Given that the NCL is the seat of crow intelligence, the researchers decided to see whether they could actually watch in real time as a crow figured out a puzzle. They used crows that had been raised in captivity, and trained to do a test kind of like the Sesame Street "which one doesn't belong?" quiz. The crows had to identify whether two images were different or the same.

First, the researchers put electrodes over the crows' NCL, to watch each neuron firing. Then they would present the crow with an image. Next, the crow would be prompted to choose an image that matched or didn't match that image (they had already been trained to do this with a sound or sign that either meant "match" or "don't match"). Finally, the crow would be presented with two images and have to choose the matching or not matching one.

This is a test that requires abstract reasoning, because the images change all the time and the crows have to apply the abstract idea of "match" or "not match" to a variety of inputs. In addition, this test reveals that the researchers defined intelligence as an ability to do abstract reasoning. Obviously there are many ways to define intelligence, and this is simply one way to do it.

What the researchers found was pretty amazing. They identified what they call "abstract rule neurons" which governed which answer the crows would give. Basically, the birds' brains assigned one rule (match) to one neuron, then the other rule (don't match) to another neuron. When the crows correctly matched an image, the match rule neuron would fire. When the crow gave an incorrect answer, or became confused, the abstract rule neuron fired only very weakly.

Veit and Nieder concluded that this was strong evidence that crows' brains have developed to handle abstract rules, which is why the birds are good at learning and responding to a variety of situations in a flexible way. They note that "the ability to guide behavior by general rules rather than by relying on fixed stimulus-response associations constitutes a survival advantage." This is the same survival advantage conferred on humans due to our intelligence. But our intelligence occupies a very different structure in our brains.

Alien Intelligence on Earth

What this experiment suggests is that two dramatically different species might have similar abstract reasoning abilities — even if their brains are completely unlike each other. If we imagine that intelligence can only dwell in a mammal-like brain, we may miss out on discovering smart life forms elsewhere. The crow brain may be the first truly alien intelligence we've been able to study.

The crow brain may also help us better understand what's required to build an artificial intelligence, too. We can look at what the crow and human brain share in common, and speculate about what it might take to create an intelligence that resides in a non-brain structure. As I mentioned earlier, both the PFC and NCL contain many neurons connected to other parts of the brain, and they work a lot with the neurotransmitter dopamine. These regions also appear to deal in abstract rules.

Most of all, we can find hope in the idea that intelligence isn't just a quirk of one type of brain. Many kinds of brains can become intelligent. We are not alone.

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Old 02-13-2014, 06:13 PM   #1343
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Crazy ants vs. Fire ants. Ant chemical warfare..

Crazy Ants Dominate Fire Ants By Neutralizing Their Venom

AUSTIN, Texas — Invasive “crazy ants” are rapidly displacing fire ants in areas across the southeastern U.S. by secreting a compound that neutralizes fire ant venom, according to a University of Texas at Austin study published this week in the journal Science Express. It’s the first known example of an insect with the ability to detoxify another insect’s venom.

The crazy ant invasion is the latest in a series of ant invasions from the southern hemisphere and, like its predecessors, will likely have dramatic effects on the region’s ecosystems.

Known for their painful stings on humans and other animals, fire ants dominate most ant species by dabbing them with powerful, usually fatal venom. A topical insecticide, the venom is two to three times as toxic as DDT on a per weight basis.

When a crazy ant is smeared with the venom, however, it begins an elaborate detoxification procedure, described for the first time in this study. The exposed crazy ant secretes formic acid from a specialized gland at the tip of its abdomen, transfers it to its mouth and then smears it on its body.




In lab experiments, exposed crazy ants that were allowed to detoxify themselves had a 98 percent survival rate. This chemical counter-weapon makes crazy ants nearly invincible in skirmishes with fire ants over food resources and nesting sites.

“As this plays out, unless something new and different happens, crazy ants are going to displace fire ants from much of the southeastern U.S. and become the new ecologically dominant invasive ant species,” said Ed LeBrun, a research associate with the Texas invasive species research program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences.

Last year, the researchers reported that where crazy ants take hold, the numbers and types of arthropods — insects, spiders, centipedes and crustaceans — decrease, which is likely to have ripple effects on ecosystems by reducing food sources for birds, reptiles and other animals. They also nest in people’s homes and damage electrical equipment.

LeBrun described watching a battle for food between red fire ants and crazy ants along the boundary between their two populations at a Texas field site. The fire ants found a dead cricket first and were guarding it in large numbers. Usually when fire ants amass around a food resource, other ants stay clear for fear of their deadly venom.

“The crazy ants charged into the fire ants, spraying venom,” said LeBrun. “When the crazy ants were dabbed with fire ant venom, they would go off and do this odd behavior where they would curl up their gaster [an ant’s modified abdomen] and touch their mouths.”

It was then that LeBrun first suspected the ants were somehow detoxifying the fire ant venom. Experiments back at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in Austin helped him and his colleagues identify the detoxification agent and measure its effectiveness.

To test the effectiveness of the formic acid, researchers sealed the glands of crazy ants with nail polish and put them in vials with red fire ants. Without the ability to apply the detoxifying compound to themselves, about half of the crazy ants dabbed with fire ant venom died. Among a control group of crazy ants with unsealed glands, on the other hand, 98 percent survived.

Crazy ants and red fire ants are both native to northern Argentina and southern Brazil, where their ranges have overlapped for a very long time. The researchers suggest this newly discovered detoxification behavior is the result of an ancient evolutionary arms race.

It’s still not clear how formic acid renders imported fire ant venom nontoxic. One possibility is that it prevents the venom from penetrating the outer layers of a crazy ant’s exoskeleton.

Apart from human intervention, said LeBrun, the only thing stopping the relentless march of the crazy ants will be natural factors, such as arid soils or severe freezes, that will be too harsh for them to survive. Like the fire ants before them, their range will ultimately be determined by geology and climate.

There is one bright spot for humans. Unlike fire ants, colonies of crazy ants spread very slowly — about 600 feet per year. The only way they can spread long distances is when transported by people in potted plants and recreational vehicles. LeBrun suggested that people not buy plants if they see ants nesting in the pots and that if they live in areas already invaded by crazy ants, they check for stowaways when they move homes or travel long distance.

“If you have an RV, inspect the campgrounds you visit before parking for the night,” said LeBrun. “If you live in infested areas, don’t store food in your vehicles and consider treating your camper with insecticides several days before a trip. Consult with a pest control professional as to the best products to use. Not storing food in any vehicle parked in an infested area is also a good idea.”
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:40 PM   #1344
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Stupid crows....



Crows could be the key to understanding alien intelligence

Crows are among the planet's most intelligent animals, teaching their young to use tools for foraging and banding together to fight off intruders. Now, the first study of how abstract reasoning works in these birds' brains could shed light on how intelligence works in a truly alien, non-mammal brain.

We've studied brain structure pretty extensively in mammals from humans and apes to whales and mice. But German neuroscientists Lena Veit and Andreas Nieder are the first to watch what happens in crow brains as these birds worked their way through a series of brain-teasers. They actually wired the crows' brains up with electrodes, watching as individual neurons fired when the crows did a test that required abstract reasoning. What Veit and Nieder found reveals a lot about what intelligence looks like in a brain that's nothing like our own.

The Evolution of Intelligence

The crow, and some of its relatives in the corvid family (such as jays and magpies), are among the only intelligent species we've encountered outside the world of mammals. But their brains are utterly different from ours. The mammalian seat of reason is in our prefrontal cortex, a thin layer of nerve-riddled tissue on the outside of the front region of our brains. Birds have no prefrontal cortex (PFC). Instead, they have the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), which is located toward the middle of their brains. You can see the different regions in the image, below.



The thing that's really interesting about comparing bird and human intelligence is that we did not evolve from a common, intelligent ancestor. Our last common ancestor with birds lived during the Permian period, about 300 million years ago, before the age of dinosaurs. It probably looked like a cross between a reptile and a rodent, and was roughly the size of a big raccoon.

This ancestor's simple brain was ruled by instinct rather than higher-level cognition. Still, lurking inside its rather small skull was a brain part called the pallium, which over millions of years evolved into the PFC in mammals and the NCL in birds. That makes mammal and bird intelligence an excellent example of parallel evolution — both groups of animals developed intelligence independently of one another.

Despite all their differences, the PFC and NCL have a few features in common. Veit and Nieder write in Nature Communications that both regions are involved in "working memory, reversal learning and reward prediction." The areas also "share important properties such as dense innervation by dopaminergic fibres and connectivity patterns with multiple sensory input, limbic and motor output regions." What that means is that the NCL and PFC are both packed with neurons, or nerve cells, that respond to the crucial neurotransmitter dopamine. Its neurons are also connected to the parts of the brain that handle memory, emotion, and body movements. The PFC and NCL are brain command centers, synthesizing information from a vast array of inputs and outputs.

Testing Crows' Ability to Reason

Given that the NCL is the seat of crow intelligence, the researchers decided to see whether they could actually watch in real time as a crow figured out a puzzle. They used crows that had been raised in captivity, and trained to do a test kind of like the Sesame Street "which one doesn't belong?" quiz. The crows had to identify whether two images were different or the same.

First, the researchers put electrodes over the crows' NCL, to watch each neuron firing. Then they would present the crow with an image. Next, the crow would be prompted to choose an image that matched or didn't match that image (they had already been trained to do this with a sound or sign that either meant "match" or "don't match"). Finally, the crow would be presented with two images and have to choose the matching or not matching one.

This is a test that requires abstract reasoning, because the images change all the time and the crows have to apply the abstract idea of "match" or "not match" to a variety of inputs. In addition, this test reveals that the researchers defined intelligence as an ability to do abstract reasoning. Obviously there are many ways to define intelligence, and this is simply one way to do it.

What the researchers found was pretty amazing. They identified what they call "abstract rule neurons" which governed which answer the crows would give. Basically, the birds' brains assigned one rule (match) to one neuron, then the other rule (don't match) to another neuron. When the crows correctly matched an image, the match rule neuron would fire. When the crow gave an incorrect answer, or became confused, the abstract rule neuron fired only very weakly.

Veit and Nieder concluded that this was strong evidence that crows' brains have developed to handle abstract rules, which is why the birds are good at learning and responding to a variety of situations in a flexible way. They note that "the ability to guide behavior by general rules rather than by relying on fixed stimulus-response associations constitutes a survival advantage." This is the same survival advantage conferred on humans due to our intelligence. But our intelligence occupies a very different structure in our brains.

Alien Intelligence on Earth

What this experiment suggests is that two dramatically different species might have similar abstract reasoning abilities — even if their brains are completely unlike each other. If we imagine that intelligence can only dwell in a mammal-like brain, we may miss out on discovering smart life forms elsewhere. The crow brain may be the first truly alien intelligence we've been able to study.

The crow brain may also help us better understand what's required to build an artificial intelligence, too. We can look at what the crow and human brain share in common, and speculate about what it might take to create an intelligence that resides in a non-brain structure. As I mentioned earlier, both the PFC and NCL contain many neurons connected to other parts of the brain, and they work a lot with the neurotransmitter dopamine. These regions also appear to deal in abstract rules.

Most of all, we can find hope in the idea that intelligence isn't just a quirk of one type of brain. Many kinds of brains can become intelligent. We are not alone.

Someone who knows twitter needs to tweet this to Adam Corolla, so he can enhance his grand plan for a phalanx of attack crows.

Basically a murder of trained crows who will protect him from muggers and attack people who piss him off.

NSFW occasional language

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Old 02-13-2014, 06:47 PM   #1345
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Someone who knows twitter needs to tweet this to Adam Corolla, so he can enhance his grand plan for a phalanx of attack crows.

Basically a murder of trained crows who will protect him from muggers and attack people who piss him off.

NSFW occasional language



Full clip here (embedding disabled!!!) Just funny!

http://youtu.be/OWAQcsMstCc
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:39 PM   #1346
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That crow shit, wow. That's some good shit. Interesting.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:43 PM   #1347
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Mystery of the Martian "rock" solved.
Reality turns out to be sort of boring...

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Scientists have solved the mystery of the "jelly doughnut" rock on Mars that appeared to come out of nowhere.

NASA said Friday that a wheel of the rover Opportunity broke it off a larger rock and then kicked it into the field of view.

The Internet was abuzz last month when the space agency released side-by-side images of the same patch of ground. Only one image showed the rock, which was white around the outside and dark red in the middle, and less than 2 inches wide.

Scientists had suspected that one of Opportunity's wheels kicked the rock as it drove. They received confirmation after analyzing recent images of the original piece of rock.

Opportunity recently celebrated 10 years on Mars. Its twin Spirit stopped communicating in 2010.


EDIT: I quoted ****in' Yahoo here, but I'll link to NASA, thankyouverymuch.

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/febru...ughnut-riddle/

Last edited by chefsos; 02-14-2014 at 05:48 PM.. Reason: Suck it, Yahoo!
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:13 PM   #1348
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This is pretty fantastic.



DIY Solar Pocket Factory Machine Can Print a Solar Panel Every 15 Seconds!

Inventors Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein are looking to revolutionize the business of small-scale solar panels with The Solar Pocket Factory, a backyard photovoltaic panel printing system. Successfully funded by a Kickstarter campaign, the two have placed themselves at the forefront of the micro solar movement, which aims to cheaply and quickly produce small PV panels.

Enthusiastic about all things solar, inventors Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein have built everything from lights to USB distribution grids. Through the process of designing and manufacturing their products, they found that the micro solar panels they used to power their devices were brittle, expensive, and poorly made. Taking matters into their own hands, they traveled the world and spent months researching current models. They found that half of the cost of conventional panels lay in their assembly, as many parts of the body are pieced and soldered by hand. They also observed that 15% of panels contained flaws from imperfect soldering, and in many cases, the materials used were cut-rate and disintegrated over the period of a few years.

They figured that if they could automate the production, they could eliminate 25% of the price tag and reducing the number of defects. By using higher quality materials, they could also create panels that are more efficient, gather more light, and last longer. The result of their labor is The Solar Pocket Factory, a small automated machine that can churn out panels on a smaller scale than a sprawling factory. The device resembles a desktop 3D printer, and the team hopes to have a full working model completed by April. When finished, the Solar Pocket Factory will be able to churn out a panel every 15 seconds – that means that just one machine could potentially power 1 million devices each year! Viva la revolucion!

http://inhabitat.com/solar-pocket-fa...ry-15-seconds/
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:16 PM   #1349
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.Dave Lane is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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