ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE
I just finished chairing my second national board meeting as the President of AWIS. Held in Washington DC June 13-15, the meeting drew board members and committee chairs from around the country and is one of three meetings the national board holds annually. Our Fall meeting is typically hosted by one of our 51 national chapters around the country. This year, we will be in Tempe, Arizona. And, our Winter meeting is always held in conjunction with the annual AAAS conference taking place this year February 2009 in Chicago.
The June meeting typically focuses on the "business" of the organization, including the approval of the annual budget as our fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30. At our recent meeting we:
-Approved a $453,000 operating budget for the 08-09 fiscal year. Less than one-third of that comes from membership dues so we really appreciate those additional contributions.
-Asked our Advocacy and Public Education Committee to develop AWIS positions statements dealing with issues facing women in STEM who work for corporations, women in STEM who work for non-profit organizations, and women in STEM who work for the government. Please send any suggestions to our AWIS intern Oju Ajagbe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Tasked the Award and Equity Committee to develop a list of women in STEM who are highly qualified for federal appointments in a new administration. We will be asking for your input regarding potential nominees soon. The Awards and Equity Committee is also working with discipline-based women's committees to improve the prize selection and award processes in scientific societies.
-Set up a Nominations Committee, chaired by our immediate Past President Donna Dean. This committee will be taking your nominations for three national board positions including President-Elect and two Councilors. Please read our bylaws and constitution or view current board members.
If you would like to know more about the national board or our national activities, please write me at email@example.com.
In This Issue
Science and Health
An education in citations
I'm going to issue you a citation . . . for your improper use of citations. As most students and researchers know, when writing a scientific paper the cardinal rule is citation, citation, citation. But what about when these citations misrepresent data, are used inappropriately or misquoted? What about when the writer doesn't even read the paper he or she is citing, or ignores papers that challenge his or her research while including others that only support his or her work? The management science journal Interfaces published review and discussion on these issues. The authors of the report began investigating citation concerns when they noticed one of their own articles inaccurately cited. By analyzing a sample of 50 papers (out of 1,184) that cite their article (including the 30 most frequently cited of the bunch), the authors also found significant inaccuracies. One solution to this problem, the authors suggest, is requiring writers to contact sources they are citing to ensure the information is used properly.
View the paper
Journal research less tedious thanks to access
Students, the frustration of gaining access to scholarly articles is nearly over. Instead of running into a "subscription-necessary" stumbling block when scouring research journals for pertinent information, access to these papers will be granted by the end of the summer. Published papers will be placed in free online repositories as a requirement from the open-access movement's push to making research journals available to anyone, even non-subscribers.
'Nature' Journals Will Archive Authors' Papers in Open-Access Databases
Poll reveals America cares about science in the election
When it comes to voting for a presidential or congressional candidate, the candidate's scientific views and concerns are an influence on the American voter's decision. In a poll conducted by Scientists and Engineers for America as part of their Innovation & the Elections 2008 initiatives, 72 percent of American voters rated importance of public policy decisions affecting science and technology to solve problems of today - global warming, energy, public education, and health care - between 8-10 on a scale from 0-10 (10 being extremely important). Almost 78 percent of voters said they would be more likely to choose a candidate who would meet the demand for energy through public investments in science and technology. Seventy percent said would be more likely to support a candidate committed to addressing global climate change through investments in science and technology.
More of the Voters on Science Poll
Innovation & the Election 2008 Initiative
Increased science funding for '08, now onto '09
Now that congress gave final approval to the fiscal year (FY) 2008 supplemental appropriations bill and President Bush signed it into law June 30 - designating $338 million for the domestic science funding supplemental bill - FY2009 appropriations are underway. So far, congressional appropriators have endorsed increases for the three physical sciences agencies in the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), human spacecraft development, biomedical research in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other parts of the federal research and development (R&D) portfolio. Congress added $21 million to the President's request for appropriations, making the grand total $1.01 trillion.
Congress Endorses Physical Sciences
Podcast with British winner of Women in Science Fellowship
Listen to a podcast with Sarah Bridle, one of four winners of the Women in Science Fellowship Awards, who voices problems faced by women in science. Bridle says, as an astrophysicist, the problem she sees for women is the career structure of academia and a lack of female role models. Bridle, when questioned by one of the show's hosts if she felt these awards did anything to help women, said at least the publicity of the award gives women extra confidence and encouragement at the possibility of success.
Science Weekly: Women, Wallace, and wobbling
Science and Health
A smile can light up a face and brain
When mom's happy, baby's happy, and when baby's happy - science now reveals - mom's happy. Research supports when a mother sees her own baby smile the dopaminergic system of the brain becomes more active. A woman's crying infant, or even her baby with a neutral expression, doesn't evoke the same type of brain response that occurs when her baby is smiling, the study found. When mom saw her child's face an extensive network in the brain was activated, but when the baby smiled the dopaminergic reward system in particular was activated. Scientists say this study is a step toward understanding the chemistry of emotion.
Baby's Smile Lights Up Mom's Brain
Caution! It's tanning season
Now into the thick of July, the sun is at its peak and so are tanners. They are hitting the beaches and pool sides in full force to acquire a couple tanlines. Alongside the increase of beach bums, pool posses and tanning salon junkies comes an increase in melanoma - 50 percent to be exact. And this trend seems to especially affect U.S. women considering that over the last 30 years deadly skin cancer rates have remained the same in men. Even while young women understand the potential for skin cancer, it is hardly enough to stop them from getting what they say "makes them look good." Cynthia Brewer, a doctor in the Cleveland Clinic's Women's Health department in Ohio, said ``there's always a body image issue as far as our society goes.'' Brewer said 10 to 15 minutes of daily sun is healthy for adequate vitamin D. What happened to the popularity of parasols and pale skin?
Skin Cancer Rates Rise in Young Women, Along Tanning Trends
Exercise: morning, noon or night?
The great debate: exercise in the morning when it is less hot but more humid or in the evening when it is hotter but less humid. Researchers at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine found that heat affects the body's performance more than humidity. An elite runner capable of finishing a marathon in less than two and a half hours on a cool day (41 to 50 degrees) would be 2.5 percent slower in warmer temperatures (68 to 77 degrees.) A three-hour marathoner on a cool day would be slowed by 12 percent in the heat, the researchers reported. They also dispelled the benefits of dousing one's head with water. "Sweat must evaporate to provide cooling," Samuel Cheuvront, one of the researchers, said. "Dripping does not help." So have your running shoes ready for a 7:00 a.m. run and don't forget to hydrate well before.
To Beat the Heat, Learn to Sweat It Out
Graduating women have low expectations
What would you say you're worth? If you are a recent female college grad, chances are you would value yourself at less than you should. A survey of 750 graduating college women revealed they have fairly low expectations of where they will fall in the salary line. Fifty-one percent of the women polled expected to earn $30,000 or less in the next year, compared with 35 percent of the men expecting that number. Only 12 percent of the women expected to earn more than $50,000 in their first year on the job, compared with 24 percent of the men. Fifty-nine percent of males said they expect to earn $50,000 or more by the end of three years, whereas only 38 percent of women said they would. The report acknowledges that the majority of the women polled were in the social sciences and education, which traditionally earn less than computer science and engineering. These findings are part of an inaugural study known as the Collegiate Seniors' Economic Expectation Research (SEER) Survey and Index.
College Poll: Female Students Expect Lower Earnings than Men
Lack of job confidence
A study conducted by TIAA-CREF Institute found newly minted Ph.D.s felt unprepared for their first job in some areas. Among the men and women polled within the first five years of their first job, women reported feeling the least confident about their position. Women were significantly less confident than men in the areas of conducting research and teaching undergraduate students, but were equally or more confident than men in areas of interdisciplinary collaboration and the ability to serve on faculty committees. Confidence levels rose quickly as the young faculty member became more integrated into their career.
Confidence Gap for New Profs
Read the report
Chapter News and Events
Event: Networking social
When: July 23 6:00 PM
Cost: $20, will cover appetizers, entree, soft drinks - cash bar available
Where: Haveli Indian Restaurant
1300 South Main St
For more information and to RSVP
East Bay AWIS
Event: July chapter meeting presents with topic "Work and Family: Achieving Balance"
When: July 24, 2008 6:30-8:30 PM
Cost: $5 (members), $10 (non-members)
Where: Novartis (Building 4, Room 104)
Other: A light dinner will be provided
For more information and to RSVP
LA/Ventura County AWIS
Event: Panel discussion of local women on "Challenges for Women in Science"
When: July 15, 2008 5:30 - 7 PM
Where: Amgen Thousand Oaks campus (B24 conference center)
Other: Refreshments will be served during the networking portion of the meeting
Questions: Contact Maria Aiello (firstname.lastname@example.org)
San Diego AWIS
Event: Dressing for Success. Join professional consultants from Macy's by appointment to learn tips on the dos and don'ts of what to wear for job interviews.
When: July 23, 2008 6 PM, Networking Reception; 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Program
Where: Fishman Auditorium, Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Cost: FREE forAWIS San Diego members in good standing. Please register at www.awissd.org for catering purposes. MEMBERS ONLY EVENT
For more information and to RSVP
Event: August Strategy Session: Presentation Skills Improve the form, content and style of your oral and poster presentations.
When: August 4, 2008 6 PM, Networking Reception; 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM, Workshop
Where: Biogen Idec, 5200 Research Place, San Diego, CA 92122
Cost: FREE for AWIS San Diego members in good standing. MEMBERS ONLY EVENT
For more inforomation and to RSVP
MentorNet Board of Directors appoints David Porush as President and CEO
The Board of Directors of MentorNet (www.MentorNet.net) announced that it has appointed David Porush as its new President and CEO effective immediately.
"We are confident that David's experience and vision as a dynamic program builder in academia and as a Web entrepreneur will bring MentorNet to its highest potential," said Doreen Yochum, Chairman of the Board. "His vision, his record of successes in deploying the Web for knowledge exchange, and his personal exuberance make him an excellent leader for the next phase of our mission."
MentorNet matches experienced professionals in science and engineering with aspiring students in their fields. Porush replaces Carol Muller, MentorNet's founder who is continuing to serve in a senior advisory capacity.
Porush joins MentorNet after serving as Co-founder and Chairman of SpongeFish, a social network and publishing platform for knowledge exchange, and as Executive Director of Learning Environments for the State University of New York system. Porush grew the award-winning SUNY Learning Network to serve 100,000 enrollments on over 40 campuses as well as leading cutting edge media initiatives for the largest public university in the country. He is also a well-respected author, scholar, and professor of electronic media and cyberculture, the recipient of grants and awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Henry R. Luce Foundation, Apple, The National Endowment for Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Fulbright Foundation among many others, and co-founder of the Society for Literature and Science. Porush received his BS from MIT and his PhD from University at Buffalo.
About MentorNet - www.MentorNet.net
Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning
The Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning is recognized internationally for the quality and integrity of its program. Each year the conference provides a forum for the exchange of information on distance education and training. The conference addresses the needs of educators, trainers, managers and designers from throughout the world who are involved in the application of technology to the teaching and learning process and in the planning, administration, and management of distance education programs.
The conference will offer more than 150 presentations including keynotes, forums, concurrent sessions, pre-conference workshops, course design showcases, and roundtable discussions.
This year the conference takes place August 5-8, 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin. Register by July 16, 2008 and save on conference fees.
For more information
Constitutive Properties of Biomaterials Conference
You are invited to participate in the conference Constitutive Properties of Biomaterials held on September 19-21 at the University of Pittsburgh. The conference is sponsored by the Society for Natural Philosophy, the Institute
for Mathematics and its Applications and the University of Pittsburgh. If you would like to give a 30-minute presentation at the conference,
please submit an abstract by August 1, 2008 via e-mail to one of the
organizers (David Swigon, email@example.com, and Anna Vainchtein,
firstname.lastname@example.org). Final decisions on speaker selection will be communicated
by August 15, 2008.Partial travel and lodging support will be available to young researchers who are selected to speak at the conference. Participants in need of such support should indicate so when they submit their abstract. In addition, conference participants from the IMA participating institutions are eligible for travel support from the IMA PI funds at their home institution.
For more information
AAAS Workshop: Bias Literacy
The American Association for Advancement in Science is hosting a day long workshop August 19, 2008 that will introduce and summarize basic concepts from social science research on discrimination. The workshop's topic, "Bias Literacy," is based on a paper that evidences discrimination, especially with reference to women in science and engineering. It will provide short overviews of: national organizations working to advance diversity in science and engineering education and the workforce; the legal and policy foundations for diversity activities; national and international indicators; and funding sources that support this work. Participants will receive a resource binder containing a guide to rich websites and selected information products.
Questions? Contact Sabira Mohamed, email@example.com
Women in Technology Workshop
The second annual Women in Technology Workshop is a half-day event created to foster awareness of and communication about critical issues facing women in the technical fields. The workshop on September 23, 2008 at MIT features dynamic keynotes and interactive breakout sessions.
Join Technology Review's high-level audience in this unique setting to:
CONNECT with senior-level men and women in a variety of areas of technology
EXPLORE current issues and common barriers facing women in these fields
INSPIRE dialogue and raise awareness of the issues for women pursuing technical careers
CELEBRATE female technologists and recognize their unique contributions
Register now and save!
For more information
Early Career Development Award
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.
Deadlines for Submission of Proposals Vary by Discipline:
Full Proposal Deadline Date: July 22, 2008
BIO, CISE, and EHR
Full Proposal Deadline Date: July 23, 2008
Full Proposal Deadline Date: July 24, 2008
GEO, MPS, SBE, and OPP
For more information
Write Winning Agricultural Grants
The Northeast Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NERA) and the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (SAAESD), in conjunction with USDA-CSREES will host a 2-day Competitive Grants Workshop to focus on the USDA-NRI Competitive grants process, September 30 - October 1, 2008.
The first day of the workshop will focus on opportunities in the USDA Competitive Grants program, while the second day will focus writing winning grants. Drs. Michael Harrington and Thomas Fretz will conduct the Writing Winning Grants workshop (October 1), while National Program Leaders from CSREES will conduct the September 30 program.
Deadline August 1, 2008
For more information
Norwood Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in Statistical Science
Sponsored by the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama- Birmingham, nominations are now open for the seventh annual Janet L. Norwood Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in Statistical Science. Each year, the recipient of the award is given the opportunity to deliver a lecture at UAB as well as receive a plaque and a $5,000 prize.
Candidates must have completed their terminal degree and have made significant contributions to the field of statistical sciences.
In order to nominate a candidate, send a full curriculum vita as well as a letter no longer than two pages in length describing the candidates contributions to the field. Self-nominations are welcome.
Deadline for Nominations August 30, 2008
Award Announcement September 4, 2008
Official Award Page
For more information contact:
David B. Allison, Ph.D.
Professor & Head Section on Statistical Genetics
Department of Biostatistics, RPHB 327
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1665 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35294-0022
Phone: (205) 975-9169
Fax: (205) 975-2541
Designated Outcomes Award in Geriatric Gastroenterology
The objective of the "Designated Outcomes Award" is to promote research by young investigators in the area of outcomes as it relates to geriatric gastroenterology.
Eligible Applicants must possess an MD, PhD or equivalent and must hold faculty positions at accredited North American academic institutions by the time of the start date of the award (July 1). The award is intended for junior faculty; therefore, established investigators are not eligible. For MD applicants, no more than five years should elapse following the completion of your clinical training (GI fellowship or equivalent) and the start date of this award (July 1).
A letter of recommendation should be provided by the Division Chief or Department Chair and should outline support of the candidate and his/her research program. The investigator must submit a progress report and a financial report to the Foundation upon completion of project.
To download the award application and for more information about this and other AGA Foundation awards, please click here. The application deadline date for this award is September 5. If the deadline occurs on a weekend or holiday, the application packet must be received by midnight the following business day.
Please email the application packet to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct questions about this award or the application submission process to the Research Awards Manager at 301-222-4012 or via email at email@example.com.
Harvard University Junior Fellowships
The Harvard University Junior Fellowships is an annual program to give men and women at an early stage of their scholarly careers an opportunity to pursue their studies in any department of the University, free from formal requirements, by providing 3-year fellowships to scholars of exceptional ability, originality, and resourcefulness.
Candidates must be at an early stage of their careers. Most fellows either have received the Ph.D. recently or are candidates for the Ph.D. and well along in the preparation of their dissertations.
Facilities of all branches of Harvard University are open, without charge, to Junior Fellows.
Nominations for Junior Fellowships are customarily made by the individual's faculty mentor. Junior Fellowships begin July 1, 2009.
Deadline: September 5, 2008
For more information
Further information is available by telephoning 617-495-2485
Completed Application Materials can be submitted to:
The Society of Fellows
78 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Elsevier Foundation New Scholars Program
The 2008 Elsevier Foundation New Scholars Program will give priority to the efforts of the academic and research community to address the fundamental challenge of balancing childcare and family responsibilities with the demanding academic careers in science, health, and technology. The program is focused on doctoral candidates and scholars in the first five years of their post-doctoral careers.
The Foundation provides one, two and three year grants to non-profit academic and research institutions, learned societies, professional associations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Proposals are welcome for single-year grants in amounts between US $5,000 to US $50,000. Proposals will be accepted for multi-year programs (up to three years) for grant amounts of US $5,000 to US $50,000 per year. Grants are awarded for specific projects rather than operating support.
Deadline: September 15, 2008.
Announcement: December 2008
For more information
Proposals should be sent to:
The Elsevier Foundation
360 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010-1710, USA
Funderburg Research Scholar Award in Gastric Biology Related to Cancer
The Funderburg Research Scholar Award is awarded to an established investigator working on novel approaches in gastric cancer, including the fields of gastric mucosal regeneration and regulation of cell growth as precancerous lesions; genetics of gastric oncogenes in gastric epithelial malignancies; epidemiology of gastric cancer; etiology of malignancies; or clinical research in the diagnosis or treatment of gastric carcinoma.
The Scholar Award intends to support an active, established investigator in the field of gastric biology who enhances the fundamental understanding of gastric cancer pathobiology in order to ultimately develop a cure for the disease.
Applicants must hold faculty positions at accredited North American institutions and must have established themselves as independent investigators in the field of gastric biology. Women and minority investigators are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants must be Members of the AGA (visit www.gastro.org for membership information).
The deadline for receipt of applications without exception is September 20, 2008. An electronic copy of the application must be submitted by the deadline to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications must be received by midnight the following Monday. Letters of recommendation may be e-mailed by the signatories to email@example.com or mailed to the following address, postmarked by the deadline:
Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition
4930 Del Ray Avenue
Please email the application packet to firstname.lastname@example.org and direct questions about this award or the application submission process to the Research Awards Manager, by telephone at 301-222-4012 or email at email@example.com. For information about other AGA Foundation awards, please click here.
The National Medal of Science
Help celebrate the contributions of your colleagues by submitting a nomination for The National Medal of Science. The National Medal of Science was established in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences." In 1980 Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences. The National Medal of Science is the highest honor the President bestows on scientists. A Committee of 12 scientists and engineers is appointed by the President to evaluate the nominees for the Award. Since its establishment, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 441 distinguished scientists and engineers whose careers spanned decades of research and development.
Deadline: December. 5, 2008
For more information
To nominate someone
Alan T. Waterman Award for Young Researchers
The National Science Foundation is pleased to accept nominations for the 2009 Alan T. Waterman Award. Each year, the Foundation bestows the Waterman Award to recognize the talent, creativity and influence of a singular young researcher. Established in 1975 in honor of the Foundation's first Director, the Waterman Award is the Foundation's highest honor for researchers under the age of 35.
Nominees are accepted from any field of science or engineering that NSF supports. The award recipient will receive a medal and an invitation to the formal awards ceremony in Washington, DC. In addition, the recipient will receive a grant of $500,000 over a three-year period for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science or engineering supported by the National Science Foundation, at any institution of the recipient's choice.
For detailed nomination information and criteria, please visit https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/honawards
Complete nomination packages, consisting of nominations and four letters of reference, are due by December 5, 2008. The nominations and letters must be received through the FastLane system. Please contact the Program Manager for the Alan T. Waterman Award at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-292-8040 if you have any questions. You may also visit http://www.nsf.gov/od/waterman/waterman.jsp for more information.
Sun Microsystems Grant Supports Mentoring for Latinas in Computing
Of nearly 2 million employed computer and information scientists in the U.S. in 2003, Hispanic women represented just 18,000, or less than 1%, and Hispanic men outnumber Hispanic women in this field by more than three to one. Since mentoring has been identified as a critical strategy in the retention of students, particularly those underrepresented in these fields, a grass-roots group, Latinas in Computing, is working with MentorNet, The E-Mentoring Network for Diversity in Engineering and Science, to build more mentoring relationships between students and professionals in the fields of computing.
A recent grant from Sun Microsystems will help support a web portal for Latinas in Computing developed earlier this year. Sun joins MentorNet, Latinas in Computing, Texas Instruments, and the Association of Women in Science in helping to sponsor this project. The portal provides direct access for Latinas studying or employed in computing sciences and engineering to participate in mentoring and networking, including opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early career faculty to engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships with professionals in their fields.
For more information
Become a Member Now!
We want photos of your chapter!
As you may know, our national Website is undergoing strong renovations this summer. In addition to new content and style, we need updated photos.
Photos of AWIS members on the job, at meetings, at workshops and conventions, and other events.
Please send us any photos you think represent AWIS well, and don't forget to take your camera to your next AWIS event!
Photos used will be attributed.
E-mail Liz Klimas your photos at
Above is a photo from the AWIS San Diego Chapter.
A Network, A Resource, A Voice
The Washington Wire is one of the many benefits of an AWIS membership. Our goal in this bi-monthly e-digest is to provide you with a snapshop of news you can use.
While our newest feature, the Chapter Member Spotlight, is our way of highlighting national issues important to you, we thought it would be nice to introduce you to our AWIS National Office interns. But if you've got a hot topic, let us know and the next spotlight could be on you.
AWIS Intern Spotlight
Major: Biology with a concentration in Journalism
University: Hillsdale College
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Hobbies: Baking, reading, running, writing
Read more about Liz and what brought her to AWIS. . .
Liz can be reached at
AWIS Magazine wins Excellence Award
The AWIS Magazine was presented with the Award of Excellence for Magazine and Journal Design and Layout from the 20th annual APEX Awards for Publication Excellence: A Competition for Communications Professionals. The award came after the magazine was completely overhauled in the summer of 2006 with a new team spearheading both design and content changes.
Hall of Shame
Need a reminder about why we do what we do at AWIS?
Want proof that discrimination and sexism against women still exists?
Visit the National Organization of Women's Hall of Shame. It quotes several notable individuals and public figures
expressing their distain for women.
See the shame!
Program Director, acute renal failure and renal pathophysiology
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Biological Nanostructures Staff Scientist
The Molecular Foundry at Berkeley Laboratory
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