Mushrooms as Medicine with Paul Stamets at Exponential Medicine



well I'm honored to be here and my hat is my favorite hat I think it makes me look rather handsome this hat is made from a mushroom called Amadou Amadou is a birch polypore and a Madhu is a hardwood conch and this mushroom is responsible for human survival not too long ago there's no doubt that we all came from Africa we went north we discovered something new called winter oops this mushroom allowed for the portability of fire moreover you can hollow this mushroom out put embers of fire inside and carry fire for days and the fire keeper of our clans thousands of years ago were absolutely critical for the clans survival well this mushroom has other properties and when you boil this mushroom it delaminates and becomes mycelium a fabric and since some ladies in Transylvania have kept this tradition alive so this threat of knowledge has carried forth over thousands of years and so many threads of knowledge have been interrupted because of famine disease and war well this mushroom is first described by Hippocrates in 450 BC II as an anti-inflammatory as well as for Carter izing wounds another mushroom I brought mushroom friend of mine also is a polypore wood conch and this is a Garak on a gerakan is the longest living mushroom in the world rose exclusively in the old-growth forests now presently only known from Northern California Oregon Washington and British Columbia in a sky island or two in Central Europe it was described by ascribe ease in the very first materia medica as Alexei reom at Langham vitam the elixir of long life and it was suggested thousands of years ago as a treatment against consumption later to be known as tuberculosis so I'm going to take you on a journey and I'm going to take a radical left turn halfway through this talk and I'm going to present some data that has never been shown any to anyone else outside of my research team so I am honored to be representing triple a s on June 9th this year I was awarded as the invention ambassador this is great it's like a first audience that knows what Triple A s is so I don't have to explain that but it's a huge honor and I grew up in a small town in Ohio and my brother John with my got me into science and he went on to Yale my brother Bill one on the Cornell and we had this incredible laboratory in the basement which they would not let me have access to but they went off to college and I suddenly had this fully equipped laboratory including the the radio from the aircraft carrier the intrepid my father was on it and after world war ii he got the radio so I was listening to all sorts of things behind the Iron Curtain I was just having a fabulous time so my dream was always to live in the country and be a scientist and have my own scientific laboratory well on June 9th I got that award my brother John we were competitive and there's you know like brothers are you love him 80% of the time and 20% of time they kind of piss you off and so John really never respected you know my interest in my ecology what is this mushroom stuff but so when Triple A yes gave me this award it was highly vetted and I said Wow you know I can I get this is exciting I can tell my older brother now John I got this award so I called him he didn't answer and then I emailed him and that was a day they discovered his body John I died from cardiac arrest standing up and I just want to tell all of you you have brothers and sisters that bug you you know think about the good times and how our life is so precious and so short so this talk is dedicated to my brother John who first got me into science so my main theme is biodiversity as biosecurity this is we live in I live in Washington State in the southern regions of the Puget Sound and I want to point out the largest organism in the world is a mycelial mat 2,200 acres in size over two thousand years old and it's one cell wall thick surrounded by hundreds of millions of microbes per gram of soil we have several skin layers to protect us from infection the mycelium has one and yet achieves the largest mass of any organ in the world how is that possible well it's possible because it the is involved in I own his own microbiome it selects beneficial bacteria that it works in concert with and the mycelium has based on a network like design the mycelium is digested nutrients externally we share more common ancestor with fungi than we do with any other Kingdom six hundred and fifty million years ago we split from fungi and there is an announcement a new super Kingdom it's been published called a pice the canta that joins Animalia and fungi together we exhale carbon dioxide we inhale oxygen and the fungi are able to stream nuclei to their tips and because of epigenesis the ability to adapt to change this is one of the few organisms that actually benefits from disruption and so when these mats are disrupted the fork the us streaming of nuclei epigenesis comes into play reassortment nuclei at the end tips it codes for new genes for new enzymes acids to capture new food and then the information becomes back channeled into the mice illegal network so using the epidemic properties of mycelium i think is a way of the future of medicine so the mycelium is a lot more pervasive than most people realize virtually 90% of all plants have mycorrhizae fungi has now been determined that these microbial networks and the mycelium communicates across landscapes in between plants and indeed all plants are part fungi so any research on botanical medicine the contribution of the end of it funds that are associated inside this plants needs to be taken into account because the conferring medicinal properties may be welcoming from the end of it expunged I as opposed to the plant by itself these my cellular networks stream across landscapes and I have these epiphanies and I believe habitats have immune systems and the mice ileal networks are the foundation of the food web that's joining us all together now here is something that's I grow lots of mycelium twenty to thirty thousand kilos a week we have a small company sixty seven employees and this is differently frankly just not fair that I can tell you this in fifteen seconds which took me thirty years to discover the problem with mcgroin mycelium in laboratories is immunologically naive it's grown in pure culture when you throw it out into the ground all these organisms consume it well we've soaked woodchips or a straw under water salt water or fresh water for two weeks in aerobic interwebz become predominant then we take this out and we drain off the water and then the oxygen becomes a sterilizer the anaerobes are largely killed simply our robes are in there and then the mycelium then becomes immunologically educated this is a profoundly powerful mycelium it's got an immune system and resident within this mycelium is the enormous amounts of bacteria we did next-gen sequencing here and this is a color heat map a thousand full difference in the relative abundance of different genre of bacteria to different mushroom species selected out whole different constellations of bacteria this enables the mycelium to cell set up guilds and have commensal mutualistic organisms that i can combine with that allows it to conquer such large habitats well we all know that we have cancer 41% of us will get cancer 21% of us will die from it but did you know still that 73% of all against our cancer drugs have their origins and natural products we grow about 500 different species turkey tails featured here or when the best described and studied medicinal mushrooms in the world we received a 2.2 million dollar breast cancer clinical grant from the nih for phase one breast cancer and the results of the studies have been published and on a dose-dependent basis well prior to radiation your immune system is as active and then when the turkey tail mushrooms eight capsules per day are consumed there is an upregulation of natural killer cells and then post radiation most of you know the immune system is damaged it and then it has to recover and then on a dose-dependent basis two weeks and then four weeks the immune system kicks into gear natural killer cells are enhanced dramatically and also cytotoxic T cells look at the significance value here and so the immune system is activated by the consumption of these mushrooms and there's TLR tlr4 receptors I don't want to get into that right now but we've identified seven different distinct pathways of the immune systems activated than the consumption of these mushrooms now this became deeply personal to me in june 2009 when my 83 year old mother called me up she's a charismatic Christian she's not seen a doctor since 1968 she called me a mrs. Paul I'm scared I didn't recognize her voice she was shaking I said what's wrong and she said my right breast is five times the size of my left I have six angry lymph nodes dark and swollen on my right side I said I couldn't believe it why didn't you tell me sooner and so I rushed her to Swedish breast cancer clinic in Seattle and then we got the worst news after the second visit the oncologist said she should have been seen two years earlier the cancer is inoperable they could not do a mastectomy because of her age they couldn't give a radiation therapy because of the same reason because the likelihood of infection and so the oncologist tried to make best of it saying you live a long life and we kept on asking how long how long how long and she said you lucky if you had three months the tumor is erupting out of her breast across the Meridian invaded her sternum and when it went into her liver so we had the circle meeting many of you have had this we planned for her funeral she chose a pink dress that bought the cheapest coffin that she could find because she was going to Jesus there's a lot of Tears and then on the third visit the oncologist said you know if your immune system could kick in patty you might be able to beat this and so she said you know there's these turkey tail mushroom study that's on a misty romantical school University of Minnesota Medical you might want to take start taking turkey tail mushrooms well that's my mother said well that's what my son was talking about but she had to hear it from a doctor right so my mother started taking turkey tail she was on tax haul briefly had a horrific reaction refused to take it and she was ten then she's worth taking Herceptin a wonderful drug well that was in June of 2009 and I'm happy to say my mother she crossed the five year disease free period she's totally cancer-free this led to then a study saying well maybe turkey tail mushrooms can enhance Herceptin now the good news that my mother survived but then she told me something her oncologist told her of the 50 women who joined at Herceptin program and listed in a new program in Ellensburg Washington where she enlisted of the 50 women 48 of them have died my mother was the only one taking turkey tail with Herceptin so how did this is interesting on multiple levels she's been written up as a best case outcome several medical journals she that no chem brain no nausea no loss of appetite so she's happy and she her acumen has come back she's smarter now than were quick with her wit than I've ever ever seen so then a series of other articles came out this past year turkey tail enhances the microbiome specifically of lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium while suppressing and anti flattery bacteria so this is extremely interesting because this speaks to the fact that when we grow the much of mycelium in pure culture we do see a resident mutualistic population of bacteria which may we at first thought were contaminants but now we understand better that they're part of the of the microbiome of the fungi when we split from fungi 650 million years ago we chose the relevance circulating our food in a gastric in a sack and a stomach basically digested nutrients within the mycelium went externally well just as we have a microbiome within us the mycelium is selected a micro biome also Muta listicle e to its advantage I'm very interested in the viral to cancer connection there are seven identified viruses or probably a lot more that caused cancer then Fred hutch medical school called me up and said we have a very interesting case from the Merkel cell carcinoma one of the most deadly cancers of the world only ten people have ever been reported to it have ever recovered from it and I call it the NIMH hypothesis dr. paul NIMH MD PhD at Fred hutch and they had this patient he started taking a seven species mushroom blend and this is immune evasion and then after taking the mushrooms there's no chemotherapy no radiation therapy nothing can be done for these patients and then after taking the seven mushroom species blend he had spontaneous recovery and he is alive today so we think that it D cloaks cancers for discovery by the immune system we don't know exactly how it does it but we've seen this over and over again your immune systems activated and your mutant cells can discover receptor sites in the stroma of tumors this could go abroad and be useful for addressing lots of solid tumors as an adjunct therapy so this case also was written up in the medical journals and then Hayling Lou and I submitted an application to NIH to standardize the methodology for analyzing medicinal mushroom products it was amazed or so and unfortunately the sequester occurred and we did not get funded for this but it's a great paper that I'd be glad to provide to anyone who likes to see it the Bison team produces extracellular metabolites and in these metabolite droplets are all sorts of interesting compounds I was working with a bio shield program of the US Defense Department directly after 9/11 we submitted over 700 samples and this is the said the samples of mushrooms in particular a gerakan reishi and chaga and this is the selectivity index and the viruses h5n1 h3n2 h1n1 and the rip of ayran is being the positive control the selectivity index is an indication of antiviral activity our extracts were diluted from the mycelium 100 to 1 and this is the selectivity index of the diluted extracts that were much far more powerful than the pharmaceutical control well then we were we did by our guided fractionation of the University Mississippi this is a school pharmacy and we've identified a group of sterols this one has been unreported in the literature I've given it the name phony top straw so we have our first eight api's here that are active against in this case poxviruses now that's coming on the same mcgarrick on extract that was active against flu viruses but we sent these structures to to st. Jude University in order to st. Jude hospital in order for tests against HIV and when they were totally inactive which suggests that there's more than one antiviral API that's present within these these mushroom extracts NIH called us three times in the past month we've submitted now ten of these structures they potential api's for testing against Ebola and a wide number of other viruses so resident when these mushrooms are very interesting complex molecules that were beginning to discover so after ten years I finally received a patent universality of opinion by the patent extent patent examiner's and it took a long time to get the patent but I was happy to see that vector in Russia published an article two years ago authenticating that a gerakan is highly active against flu viruses this article was published yesterday so is there people are catching up but it's great that other researchers are authenticating that which we had discovered now working with a gerakan instructor scott franzblau who is the director of the tuberculosis research institute at the university of chicago we started doing experimentation and he started using our mycelium and we did by organic fraction we found a new active anti-tb set of molecules chlorinated chlorinated coumarins now this is interesting to me this mushroom has a dual activity against viruses and bacteria very few medicines do that the majority people who die from viral pneumonia actually die from bacterial pneumonia and so to have something as a nutraceutical that can be broad-based against multiple viruses multiple bacteria I think is medically extremely interesting my wife and I spend a lot of time in the old-growth forest the force used to be resplendent around the world and now we are facing a radical change and in our ecosystems through deforestation so the composition in the ecology of the forests have changed and 70% of the soils are composed of microbial mass of which 40% of the mouse's fungal but because of our practices of logging and harvesting and creating monoculture which in repetitive Harbor planting of trees leads to premature decline disease vectors spread the diameter of trees become smaller and you lose that that plurality of biodiversity of Ages of trees and their associated organisms we have really changed the face of this planet so I'm going to now take a radical left turn so this is the case now imagine hundreds of millions of years our ancestors and other organisms in the ecosystem have been used these resplendent for us and now we've deforested much of the planet and the deforestation continues at an incredible clip we've now entered 6x the sixth greatest extinction event on the life of this planet and we're losing about 30,000 species per year of 8.3 million species on this planet that means that a hundred years we'll lose more than 30% of the biodiversity on this planet this is this is an all-hands-on-deck moment so a friend of mine came to me he said Paul I do a lot of work with antibiotic genic fungi controlling insects and says can you help the bees and then whole foods provide this very interesting graphic here's your dairy choices with bees and there's your dairy choices without bees bees liberate pollinators 30% of the food in the grocery store is direct result of pollens it and pollination 70% is indirect and the President Obama came out with a presidential memorandum and there is a we call it click on a hex efekta there is like six different converging stressors on the ecosystem deforestation is one the bees now don't have the ecosystem that it's evolved to to draw from as part of this menu it's banquet of food well then because of the pollution and one dozen speakers mentioned his blood was analyzed he has a thousand different xenobiotic toxins president is blood unprecedented a theater of evolution mites are carrying viruses and then you have of the the fact that the bees are being trucked hundreds of miles into almond orchards in the middle of the desert in California in January and February this is totally unnatural so the bees fly out and we see bees around a flower that's the last seven or ten days of a life the bees flap their wings into the wings are shredded and the bees then with a colony collapse disorder the bees leave the Beehive and they just don't come back they just suddenly disappear now it's a very complicated set of stressors but just like there's colony collapse disorder I suggest to you that we are facing cultural collapse disorder this is a proverbial canary in the coal mine so I had some very strange events in my life a lot more that I can tell you but but I was growing mushroom mycelium in my garden this is 1984 and I went out to my garden and this is the mushroom beds and I went Wow what's going on here I look very closely and bees had come to my mushroom bed move the wood chips away and started sucking on my mycelium I went what is going on from day to night for 40 days for 40 days a direct stream of bees from my beehives to my mycelium back and forth all day long the mycelium shrunk from about 8 or 10 inches to about 3 inches well I noted this in one of my books and Harrow Smith magazine virtually everybody ignored me I got one beekeeper from Canada wrote me well maybe that's why do they go to sawdust piles so ok I put that in the back of my mind and then a friend of mine said you know what can you do to help the bees and I thought well you know I had this very weird experience in my garden 1984 so here's dusty in the old-growth forest and bear scratch trees well we used to have a lot of bears but the tip industry put a bounty on them killed the Bears and only in the past 20 years we've come out with research knowing and finding out the Bears bring salmon carcasses up on the banks and returning sea phosphorus from the ocean into the roots of the trees which is a limiting nutrient for tree growth so the industry totally got it backwards Bears help trees grow well the Bears scratched the trees and dusty and I are hiking in the old-growth forest and the South Fork of the hoe and we go around the corner and dusty sees this bear scratch BAM the bear scratched the trees the best bear scratch I've ever seen but that's why I photographed it now looked into this and wow the timid industry says the bear scratched the trees and it causes a mushroom to form which is related to a Garrett con so we went back two years later there's that bear scratch ok so think about this and the bear scratch the trees then resin comes out and bees go after the resins and they get propolis which is a very strong antimicrobial and they used for patching up you know spaces in the Beehive so the red belted polypore sure enough was growing out of that tree with a bear scratch that we saw so in a sense the timber industry is correct this is a parasitic fungus that kills the trees and then grows Sacre physically well also interesting the mycelium breaks down pesticide herbicide and fungicides okay so that's another box another experience I had the garden now hiking the old-growth forest a bear scratch I looked into the you know why the timber industry was trying to kill the bears then this article comes comes out these are all very very recent and it turns out that fungi produced the P chimeric acid related to the chloral chlorinated coumarins that Scott Franklin our fund their active against tuberculosis by the way and it turns out that the absence of P chimeric acid stops the up regulation of the cytochrome p450 pathway bees only have 47 cpy genes whereas most insects have 80 and the absence of P chimeric acid coming from fungi turns off their mono oxygenase pathway and so they can't detoxify this accumulation of all these toxins that are become resident as they for a out into the farmer's fields sprayed with pesticides fungicides and herbicides okay interesting and so then it turns out that when the EPA license many of these fungicides and insecticides and herbicides they didn't look at the consortium of them all coming together and turn out the sub-lethal doses of these toxins defeat the microbiome in the gut of the bee so you have another problem happening here not only is this my oxidase pathway the cytochrome p450s turned off but the microbiome now is being damaged by glycolysis by the way there's one of the big cult culprits some craig Venter hope you're listening so then fungicide contamination in the fields is harming the resident fungi and now we don't have rotting logs we've got agricultural crops may the species of which are not native okay so beekeepers feed bees sugar water and up to 50 these a 50 percent water 50 percent sugar this is because they need to have the sugar obviously for food and then the bees are truck hundreds of miles in this case the almond and walnut orchards for pollination so the bees are now being fed pure Sugar's as opposed to the complex carbohydrates and polysaccharides was coming from the sweat of the Weisse ilium so I had an epiphany why don't we take our mycelium and my research team you know it gets credit for this and we came up with Michael honey this is totally made from mycelium it's like 90% sugars but they're complex sugars and guess what it has P chimeric acid in it as the antiviral agents in it as the antibacterial agents so we contacted Washington State University working with dr. Steve Sheppard and and Brandon Hopkins and we started doing a series of experiments by feeding extracts of the mycelium to bees at different concentrations this is called a stress test they're in captivity they only live 30 days when the worker bees fly out and they're doing a pollination if they don't come back nurse bees are prematurely recruited to become worker bees and they fly out they abandon the brood so it's a doubling down every time the fewer and fewer worker bees come back nurse bees now have to go out and get pollen and food for the hive so the the larvae and abandoned mites then proliferate mites are injecting viruses into the larva okay so the mushrooms that we're talking about clean the one of my hat Amadou reishi and chaga are polypore mushrooms and birch forests worldwide apis mellifera the honeybee is from europe it's not native to North America but it produced a four-digit amounts of honey so there's chaga there's Amadou and there's red reishi we provided the bees with twelve different species these are the three ones I'm going to talk about I've never shown this before this this information just came came in the sugar control in one week's time the virus is increased by 63% when the bees started sipping on the mycelium the viral about pathogen payload plummeted across these three different species in week one versus a week two the sugar control the viruses you know increased dramatically and with with the bees that were taking sips of the mushroom mycelium extract the vibe is plummeted they went up here and they plummeted down on a dose-dependent basis and so it also occurred with a red reishi so now we're trying to get the right concentrations and the often is obvious now that if we use a combination of these you know what benefit what a benefit will this be but we don't know the way of the B tomorrow the rosetta spaceship lands on a comet 300 million years 300 million miles out in space well we can find a comet we don't know the way of the B now I've spoken to entomologists about this they spoke through their friends no one's ever mentioned this I spoke at a national mycological Congress I said any mycologist out there this 500 I call just has anyone ever heard of this B's go no one has bees go to rotted logs because of the immunological benefit increasing their hosts defensive resistance they're complex sugars of nutrition and the antiviral properties I'm the first one to have discovered this really how is that possible we grew up with Winnie the Pooh reading it to our kids they're going after the rotted logs and and and we don't know the way of the bee I think this says a lot so doctor have Steve Shepherd it was so impressed he provided this wonderful quote as entomologist 39 years of experience I'm unaware of any reports extended the lives of worker bees this is this spread is incredibly important this is a period of high pollen acquisition and so if you increase the workers lifespans by 20% they had a tremendous effect on a tipping point a tipping point in favor of the colony survival so I suggest to you let's be friendly let's be mushroom the scientists cross disciplines need to work together biodiversity is our biosecurity now think of the bigger picture here we were forced people bees evolved in the forest the mycelium is confirmed confirming an immunological benefit to to animals but it's unprecedented as far as I know that there is an antiviral agent that is duly active in helping bees and also helping humans and these are from polypore mushrooms are resident in the forest that our ancestors were dependent upon so I want to conclude that humans trees bears mushrooms are all terrestrial organisms that evolved to be interconnected within the mycelial web of life Earth's natural Internet and I think the way of the future is using mycelial scaffolding with a mutualistic organisms in the bacteria using epigenesis and then being able to have the quorum sensing and there's response and being able to up regulate gene expressions that otherwise may not be present or up regulated with one organism but quorum sensing can give up regulation of multiple gene sequences otherwise hidden in nature this is the way of life so as much as many of you are ultra specialized I want you to think about the implications of what I'm showing you today we were once forest people for hundreds of millions of years we had force that we're in contact with we're losing the perspective of the synergism and the symbiosis of the ecosystem that's given this birth I think it's wise for us to go full circle and to reinvestigate thank you very much

45 comments

  1. I have seen bees where my dogs pee, and on any manure I have had around, lots of them, they love ite its fungi in the manure.

  2. I wish psilocyban (sp?) could be synthesized or extracted and take out hallucinogenic properties and be used to help people like me with bipolar. I understand it increases serotonin, which Prozac is supposed to do, but comes with lots of bad side effects. I've heard a lot of good things about mushrooms, underused as a medicine. But then of course how could Big Pharma make a profit. Use plants like marajuana which are natural and I believe put here by God for us to use. The Bible says something like "God created plants and saw that they were good."

  3. DEAR PAUL
    THAT WAS GREAT. TALK ABOUT THE LACK OF CONTINUITY OF KNOWLEDGE. OUR FORGOTTEN STAPLE IS OUR GREATEST MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY, GO FIGURE. I HAVE USED MUSHROOMS AND ASPARAGUS AS A DIURETIC AMONG OTHER HEALING PROPERTIES. WE RUN A STORE ON EBAY THAT SPECIALIZES IN NATURAL PAIN RELIEF ON EBAY LUVLUVSSTUF BLESSINGS
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT

    I AM SELLING DMSO IN A STORE THAT SPECIALIZES IN NATURAL PAIN RELIEF IN MY EBAY STORE

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    BLESSINGS

    BRINGING THE WORLD TOGETHER

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  4. This man got me so interested and motivated to continue my academic career that I genuinely hope i get to work with him one day. Any one who gets to apprentice under a soul this knowledgable and sensitive is extremely lucky, in any day and age.

  5. Please Mr. Stamets, i really appreciate your hard work. Would you please
    Check out www.quantumleap.is
    Thank you 😊

  6. Man I've seen this guy talk so many times and it's great and I like his message but every single time he just can't help mentioning his hat. Like dude, we know it allowed the portability of fire, I want to hear something knew.

  7. My mother has a similar story with cancer. but her doctor told her to put a fly agaric mushroom into a jar full of vodka and then marinate it for a month or two after which take 37-48 drops of the alcohol with water every day i believe. and she believes It helped her overcome it. She still went for chemo which could have been the reason but I believe that it at least benefited towards her healing process.

  8. He studdered terribly as a kid, and teen. Then took mushrooms and tripped in the woods and never studdered again. True story.

  9. This video could be highly dangerous since it encourages people to use
    mushrooms as medicine. Someone could mistakenly identify toxic
    fungi as the ones shown in the video and end up poisoning
    themselves……

  10. Oh the bees …the bees. Naturally it all turns to the magical fiction show which is the gaia worshippers delight…………The EcoScare. Fuck off dude.

  11. Far & away, the best presentation I've ever seen. Paul Stamets, is a mushroom king.
    My Czech, great-grandmother, bless her, taught me the wonders of mushrooms. At 64yrs old, I'm still learning.

  12. I follow all your research but it's probably smart not to mention comets or NASA being that they're complete b*****

  13. Paul Stamets is brilliant, a great humanitarian and doing work which is sorely needed on this planet. Kudos to him, his wife, family and associates.

  14. After you watch this you must conclude that almost all human industries and endevours suffer from the Dunning Kruger effect–it is only those out of the box innovators like Paul Stamets who keep things going and give us a chance to survive as a species.

  15. I am becoming all in when it comes to mushrooms I'm starting to grow a variety on my own and learning all the techniques spending months of research and I appreciate people like you we're dedicated to get the truth out, to provide that knowledge on how to combat cancer, to take away the false presumptions of pharmacy and they're not being another way, and to bring knowledge about God's created nature amazing thank you so much I'd love to get involved somehow I pray you are blessed in Christ name

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