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author:("Ahmad, kushta")
1.  An ethnobiological study in Kala Chitta hills of Pothwar region, Pakistan: multinomial logit specification 
Background
This paper constitutes an important ethnobiological survey in the context of utilizing biological resources by residents of Kala Chitta hills of Pothwar region, Pakistan. The fundamental aim of this research endeavour was to catalogue and analyse the indigenous knowledge of native community about plants and animals. The study is distinctive in the sense to explore both ethnobotanical and ethnozoological aspects of indigenous culture, and exhibits novelty, being based on empirical approach of Multinomial Logit Specifications (MLS) for examining ethnobotanical and ethnozoological uses of specific plants and animals.
Methods
To document the ethnobiological knowledge, the survey was conducted during 2011–12 by employing a semi-structured questionnaire and thus 54 informants were interviewed. Plant and animal specimens were collected, photographed and properly identified. Distribution of plants and animals were explored by descriptive and graphical examination. MLS were further incorporated to identify the probability of occurrence of diversified utilization of plants and animals in multipurpose domains.
Results
Traditional uses of 91 plant and 65 animal species were reported. Data analysis revealed more medicinal use of plants and animals than all other use categories. MLS findings are also in line with these proportional configurations. They reveal that medicinal and food consumption of underground and perennial plants was more as compared to aerial and annual categories of plants. Likewise, medicinal utilization of wild animals and domestic animals were more commonly observed as food items. However, invertebrates are more in the domain of medicinal and food utilization. Also carnivores are fairly common in the use of medicine while herbivores are in the category of food consumption.
Conclusion
This study empirically scans a good chunk of ethnobiological knowledge and depicts its strong connection with indigenous traditions. It is important to make local residents beware of conservation status of species and authentication of this knowledge needs to be done in near future. Moreover, Statistically significant findings impart novelty in the existing literature in the field of ethnobiology. Future conservation, phytochemical and pharmacological studies are recommended on these identified plants and animals in order to use them in a more sustainable and effective way.
doi:10.1186/1746-4269-10-13
PMCID: PMC3914733  PMID: 24467739
Ethnobotany; Ethnozoology; Multinomial logit; Kala Chitta hills; Pothwar region; Pakistan
2.  Botanical ethnoveterinary therapies in three districts of the Lesser Himalayas of Pakistan 
Background
Ethnoveterinary knowledge is highly significant for persistence of traditional community-based approaches to veterinary care. This is of particular importance in the context of developing and emerging countries, where animal health (that of livestock, especially) is crucial to local economies and food security. The current survey documents the traditional veterinary uses of medicinal plants in the Lesser Himalayas-Pakistan.
Methods
Data were collected through interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and by administering questionnaires. A total of 105 informants aged between 20–75 years old who were familiar with livestock health issues (i.e. farmers, shepherds, housewives and herbalists) participated in the study.
Results
A total of 89 botanical taxa, belonging to 46 families, were reported to have ethnoveterinary applications. The most quoted families were Poaceae (6 taxa), Fabaceae (6), Asteraceae (5), and Polygonaceae (5). Adhatoda vasica was the most cited species (43%), followed by Trachyspermum ammi (37%), and Zanthoxylum armatum var. armatum (36%). About 126 medications were recorded against more than 50 veterinary conditions grouped into seven categories. The highest cultural index values were recorded for Trachyspermum ammi, Curcuma longa, Melia azedarach, Zanthoxylum armatum var. armatum and Adhatoda vasica. The highest informant consensus factor was found for pathologies related to respiratory and reproductive disorders. Comparison with the local plant-based remedies used in human folk medicine revealed that many of remedies were used in similar ways in local human phytotherapy. Comparison with other field surveys conducted in surrounding areas demonstrated that approximately one-half of the recorded plants uses are novel to the ethnoveterinary literature of the Himalayas.
Conclusion
The current survey shows a remarkable resilience of ethnoveterinary botanical knowledge in the study area. Most of the species reported for ethnoveterinary applications are wild and under threat. Thus, not only is it imperative to conserve traditional local knowledge of folk veterinary therapies for bio-cultural conservation motives, but also to assist with in-situ and ex-situ environmental conservation initiatives, which are urgently needed. Future studies that focus on the validation of efficacy of these ethnoveterinary remedies can help to substantiate emic concepts regarding the management of animal health care and for rural development programs.
doi:10.1186/1746-4269-9-84
PMCID: PMC3904763  PMID: 24359615
Medicinal plants; Ethnobotany; Ethnoveterinary; Lesser Himalayas; Pakistan
3.  N′-[(E)-3-Bromo­benzyl­idene]pyrazine-2-carbohydrazide 
In the title compound, C12H9BrN4O, the dihedral angle between the aromatic rings is 12.16 (12)°. An intra­molecular N—H⋯N hydrogen bond closes an S(5) ring. In the crystal, C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the mol­ecules into C(6) chains propagating in [010]. Very weak aromatic π–π stacking [centroid–centroid separations = 3.9189 (15) and 3.9357 (15) Å] is also observed.
doi:10.1107/S1600536813027426
PMCID: PMC3884304  PMID: 24454080
4.  Changes in Central Aortic Pressure, Endothelial Function and Biomarkers in Hypertensive African-Americans with the Cardiometabolic Syndrome: Comparison of Amlodipine/Olmesartan versus Hydrochlorothiazide/Losartan 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2013;3(4):221-231.
Sixty-six self-identified African-American subjects with stage 1 and 2 hypertension and characteristics of the cardiometabolic syndrome were treated with amlodipine/olmesartan (A/O) versus losartan/hydrochlorothiazide (L/H) for 20 weeks in an open-label, active comparator fashion. Subjects not meeting a blood pressure (BP) value of <125/75 mm Hg on either regimen at week 14 were placed on additional or alternative therapy. After 20 weeks of therapy, systolic BP was reduced by 34.6 ± 4.2 mm Hg in the A/O group and by 27.0 ± 4.1 mm Hg in the L/H group (p = 0.012 A/O vs. L/H). Diastolic BP was reduced by 16.9 ± 2.0 mm Hg in the A/O group and by 12.3 ± 2.0 mm Hg in the L/H group (p = 0.022 A/O vs. L/H). There was a substantial increase in endothelial function of 44 and 103% in the L/H and A/O groups, respectively (p < 0.005 A/O vs. L/H). Central aorta augmentation pressure was significantly reduced by 42% with the A/O treatment, and a smaller, significant reduction of 28% was observed with the L/H treatment (p = 0.034 A/O vs. L/H). There was a reduction in sIL-6 levels of 20 and 33%, a reduction in serum leptin levels of 22 and 40%, and an increase in serum adiponectin of 19 and 46% in the L/H and A/O groups, respectively (p < 0.005 A/O vs. L/H for each biomarker). Treatment with A/O after 14 weeks reduced pulse wave velocity by 22% (p = 0.011 time comparison), whereas L/H treatment had no significant effect. Our findings suggest that, in addition to effective BP reduction, A/O differentially regulates markers of inflammation and obesity, thereby potentially providing greater vascular protection.
doi:10.1159/000355136
PMCID: PMC3901604  PMID: 24474950
Cardiometabolic syndrome; African-Americans; Compliance; Inflammation; Hypertension

5.  Ethnobotanical appraisal and cultural values of medicinally important wild edible vegetables of Lesser Himalayas-Pakistan 
Background
The association among food and health is momentous as consumers now demand healthy, tasty and natural functional foods. Knowledge of such food is mainly transmitted through the contribution of individuals of households. Throughout the world the traditions of using wild edible plants as food and medicine are at risk of disappearing, hence present appraisal was conducted to explore ethnomedicinal and cultural importance of wild edible vegetables used by the populace of Lesser Himalayas-Pakistan.
Methods
Data was collected through informed consent semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, market survey and focus group conversation with key respondents of the study sites including 45 female, 30 children and 25 males. Cultural significance of each species was calculated based on use report.
Results
A total of 45 wild edible vegetables belonging to 38 genera and 24 families were used for the treatment of various diseases and consumed. Asteraceae and Papilionoideae were found dominating families with (6 spp. each), followed by Amaranthaceae and Polygonaceae. Vegetables were cooked in water (51%) followed by diluted milk (42%) and both in water and diluted milk (7%). Leaves were among highly utilized plant parts (70%) in medicines followed by seeds (10%), roots (6%), latex (4%), bark, bulb, flowers, tubers and rhizomes (2% each). Modes of preparation fall into seven categories like paste (29%), decoction (24%), powder (14%), eaten fresh (12%), extract (10%), cooked vegetable (8%) and juice (4%). Ficus carica was found most cited species with in top ten vegetables followed by Ficus palmata, Bauhinia variegata, Solanum nigrum, Amaranthus viridis, Medicago polymorpha, Chenopodium album, Cichorium intybus, Amaranthus hybridus and Vicia faba.
Conclusions
Patterns of wild edible plant usage depend mainly on socio-economic factors compare to climatic conditions or wealth of flora but during past few decades have harshly eroded due to change in the life style of the inhabitants. Use reports verified common cultural heritage and cultural worth of quoted taxa is analogous. Phytochemical analysis, antioxidant activities, pharmacological applications; skill training in farming and biotechnological techniques to improve the yield are important feature prospective regarding of wild edible vegetables.
doi:10.1186/1746-4269-9-66
PMCID: PMC3853161  PMID: 24034131
Ethno-medicinal; Cultural values; Wild edible vegetables; Lesser Himalayas
6.  The Concomitant Consumption of Cod Liver Oil Causes a Reduction in the Daily Diclofenac Sodium Usage in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Pilot Study 
Objective: To evaluate whether the concomitant consumption of Cod liver oil can reduce the daily dose of Diclofenac Sodium and probably the risk of the side effects which are associated with it in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.
Material and Methods: This longitudinal, prospective, open label study was conducted from April to September 2012 at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Jaipur, India. 30 Rheumatoid Arthritis patients who were aged between 19 to 60 years, who fulfilled the inclusion criteria, were enrolled. Each patient was given five Cod liver oil capsules twice a day, for a period of 24 weeks. Each capsule which contained 300 mg of Cod liver oil had Eicosapentaenoic acid-20 mg and Docosahexaenoic acid-30 mg. The patients who took different Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs daily were switched over to Diclofenac Sodium 50 mg as a single dose, up to a maximum dose of 200 mg per day. The dose of Diclofenac Sodium which was consumed per day and the average daily requirement at different visits were recorded in each patient and they were compared. The patients were assessed for their pain scores by using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) at different weeks. In addition, the ‘Subjective Response’ to the pain was evaluated in each patient at the respective visits. The Student’s “t”-test was applied for the analysis of the VAS pain score and for the evaluation of the reduction in the mean daily dose of the Diclofenac Sodium consumption. A probability value of less than 0.05 (p< 0.05) was considered to be statistically significant. Moreover, the results of the ‘Subjective Response’ to the pain were expressed as percentage.
Results: A significant decrease (p< 0.05) in the mean VAS pain score from 80.38 ± 6.4 at week 0 to 67.30 ± 5.3 at week 24 was noted in the patients. There was a significant reduction (p<0.05) in mean dose of Diclofenac Sodium consumed from 115.04 ± 24.56 at week 4 to 98.83 ± 22.32 at week 24. Moreover, the percentage of the patients who experienced a ‘Better’ Subjective Response increased from 15.38% at week 4 to 61.53% at week 24 of the treatment follow up.
Conclusion: This study revealed that the concurrent use of Cod liver oil which contained n-3 Essential Fatty Acid in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients reduced the mean daily dose of Diclofenac Sodium consumed and probably the incidence of the side effects which were associated with it.
doi:10.7860/JCDR/2013/6266.3126
PMCID: PMC3749633  PMID: 23998063
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Essential Fatty Acid; Diclofenac Sodium; Visual Analogue Scale
7.  N′-[(E)-1-(2-Hy­droxy­phen­yl)ethyl­idene]pyrazine-2-carbohydrazide 
The title compound, C13H12N4O2, crystallized with two independent mol­ecules (A and B) in the asymmetric unit. Mol­ecule B is planar to within 0.044 (3) Å for all non-H atoms, while mol­ecule A is slightly twisted, with a dihedral angle of 6.29 (4)° between the mean planes of the pyrazine-2-carbohydrazide and 1-(2-hy­droxy­phen­yl)ethanone moieties (r.m.s. deviations = 0.0348 and 0.0428 Å, respectively). S(5) and S(6) ring motifs are formed in both mol­ecules due to the presence of intra­molecular O—H⋯N and N—H⋯N hydrogen bonds. In the crystal, mol­ecules A and B are linked by a C—H⋯O hydrogen bond. They stack along the a-axis direction, forming columns with π–π inter­actions involving inversion-related pyrazine and benzene rings [centroid–centroid distances = 3.5489 (13)–3.8513 (16) Å].
doi:10.1107/S1600536813022137
PMCID: PMC3884444  PMID: 24427054
8.  N′-[(E)-4-Bromo­benzyl­idene]pyrazine-2-carbohydrazide 
In the title compound, C12H9BrN4O, the N′-methyl­idene­pyrazine-2-carbohydrazide and 4-bromobenzene groups are oriented at a dihedral angle of 10.57 (7)°. The hydrazide N—H group is involved in intra­molecular N—H⋯N inter­action, which generates an S(5) motif. A short C—H⋯O inter­action is formed between the methyl­idene H atom and the carbonyl O atom. It connects mol­ecules into chains extending along [100]. In addition, mol­ecules are arranged into stacks extending along [010] via π–π inter­actions between pyrazine and benzene rings, with centroid–centroid distances of 3.837 (2) and 3.860 (2) Å.
doi:10.1107/S1600536813016917
PMCID: PMC3770406  PMID: 24046691
9.  Medicinal flora and ethnoecological knowledge in the Naran Valley, Western Himalaya, Pakistan 
Background
Mountain ecosystems all over the world support a high biological diversity and provide home and services to some 12% of the global human population, who use their traditional ecological knowledge to utilise local natural resources. The Himalayas are the world's youngest, highest and largest mountain range and support a high plant biodiversity. In this remote mountainous region of the Himalaya, people depend upon local plant resources to supply a range of goods and services, including grazing for livestock and medicinal supplies for themselves. Due to their remote location, harsh climate, rough terrain and topography, many areas within this region still remain poorly known for its floristic diversity, plant species distribution and vegetation ecosystem service.
Methods
The Naran valley in the north-western Pakistan is among such valleys and occupies a distinctive geographical location on the edge of the Western Himalaya range, close to the Hindu Kush range to the west and the Karakorum Mountains to the north. It is also located on climatic and geological divides, which further add to its botanical interest. In the present project 120 informants were interviewed at 12 main localities along the 60 km long valley. This paper focuses on assessment of medicinal plant species valued by local communities using their traditional knowledge.
Results
Results revealed that 101 species belonging to 52 families (51.5% of the total plants) were used for 97 prominent therapeutic purposes. The largest number of ailments cured with medicinal plants were associated with the digestive system (32.76% responses) followed by those associated with the respiratory and urinary systems (13.72% and 9.13% respectively). The ailments associated with the blood circulatory and reproductive systems and the skin were 7.37%, 7.04% and 7.03%, respectively. The results also indicate that whole plants were used in 54% of recipes followed by rhizomes (21%), fruits (9.5%) and roots (5.5%).
Conclusion
Our findings demonstrate the range of ecosystem services that are provided by the vegetation and assess how utilisation of plants will impact on future resource sustainability. The study not only contributes to an improved understanding of traditional ethno-ecological knowledge amongst the peoples of the Western Himalaya but also identifies priorities at species and habitat level for local and regional plant conservation strategies.
doi:10.1186/1746-4269-9-4
PMCID: PMC3570439  PMID: 23302393
Biodiversity conservation; Ecosystem services; Medicinal plants; Vegetation
10.  True Hermaphrodite: A Case Report 
True hermaphrodite is one of the rarest variety of disorders of sexual differentiation (DSD) and represents only 5% cases of all. A 3-year-old child presented with left sided undescended testis and penoscrotal hypospadias. Chordee correction was performed 18 months back, elsewhere. At laparotomy Mullerian structures were present on left side. On right side testis was normally descended into the scrotum.
PMCID: PMC3418019  PMID: 22953283
True hermaphrodite;  Persistent mullerian duct syndrome;  Disorders of sexual differentiation
11.  Standardization of the Unani drug – Myristica fragrans Houtt. (Javetri) – with modern analytical techniques 
Pharmaceutical Methods  2011;2(2):76-82.
Today, there is a tremendous demand of herbal medicine in the global market and the scarcity of data regarding the parameters and methods employed for assessing the quality of medicines. Aril (Mace) of Myristica fragrans Houtt., known as “Javetri,” belonging to the Myristicaceae family, plays a foremost role in the Unani system of medicine. It contains Myristicin, an active principle of drug isolated by column chromatography, and its structure was established by spectroscopic methods. Different solvent drug extracts posses pharmacological properties like hypocholesteremic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, chemopreventive action, etc. and hence there is a great need to determine the amount of myristicin present in the different extracts. The proposed method employed the High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) DESAGA Sarstedt Gruppe and pre-coated aluminum sheets of silica gel developed with 100% chloroform to quantitatively determine the myristicin concentrations present in various extracts that are responsible for their different pharmacological actions. An attempt was made through instrumental analysis for quantitative estimations that are widely accepted for the quality assessment of herbal drugs such as TLC and HPTLC studies, etc. Physicochemical parameters, microbial load, aflatoxin and heavy metals and fluorescence studies were also carried out to lay down the standard for genuine drug. HPTLC studies were carried out in petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol and methanol extracts and detected at 254 nm. Estimated high amount of myristicin in the petroleum ether extract w.r.t. the other extracts was confirmed by spectroscopy. The present paper describes the isolation, characterization and quantification of myristicin along with chemical standardization in order to develop standard parameters for the genuine drug.
doi:10.4103/2229-4708.84438
PMCID: PMC3658037  PMID: 23781434
HPTLC; myristicin; physicochemical parameters; quantification; TLC
12.  Effect of Potassium Channel Modulators on Morphine Withdrawal in Mice 
The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of potassium channel openers and blockers on morphine withdrawal syndrome. Mice were rendered dependent on morphine by subcutaneous injection of morphine; four hours later, withdrawal was induced by using an opioid antagonist, naloxone. Mice were observed for 30 minutes for the withdrawal signs ie, the characteristic jumping, hyperactivity, urination and diarrhea. ATP-dependent potassium (K+ATP) channel modulators were injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) 30 minutes before the naloxone. It was found that a K+ATP channel opener, minoxidil (12.5–50 mg/kg i.p.), suppressed the morphine withdrawal significantly. On the other hand, the K+ATP channel blocker glibenclamide (12.5–50 mg/kg i.p.) caused a significant facilitation of the withdrawal. Glibenclamide was also found to abolish the minoxidil’s inhibitory effect on morphine withdrawal. The study concludes that K+ATP channels play an important role in the genesis of morphine withdrawal and K+ATP channel openers could be useful in the management of opioid withdrawal. As morphine opens K+ATP channels in neurons, the channel openers possibly act by mimicking the effects of morphine on neuronal K+ currents.
doi:10.4137/SART.S6211
PMCID: PMC3411524  PMID: 22879744
K+ATP channels; minoxidil; glibenclamide; morphine dependence; opioid withdrawal
13.  PowerPoint or chalk and talk: Perceptions of medical students versus dental students in a medical college in India 
Purpose
To assess students’ perceptions of the impact of PowerPoint (PPT) presentations in lectures in comparison to the traditional chalk and talk method and lectures using transparencies and overhead projector (TOHP). The study analyzes the preferences for teaching aids of medical students versus dental students.
Methods
Second year medical and dental undergraduates were asked to fill in a nine-item questionnaire about their perceptions of the three lecture delivery methods. Following analysis of the questionnaire the students were interviewed further. The results were analyzed separately for medical and dental students to see if there was any difference in their perceptions.
Results
The majority of the medical students (65.33%) preferred PPT presentations, while 15.16% of students preferred the lectures using chalkboard, and 19.51% preferred TOHP for teaching (P < 0.001). Of the dental students: 41.84% preferred chalkboard, 31.21% preferred TOHP, and 25.85% students preferred PPT presentations in the lectures (P < 0.05). Some important comments of the students were also recorded on interview which could be valuable for the medical teachers.
Conclusion:
The medical students clearly preferred the use of PPT presentations while the dental students did not. The study does not bring out evidence based superiority of any lecture delivery method. It appears that in the hands of a trained teacher any teaching aid would be appropriate and effective. This highlights the need for formal training in teaching technologies to develop good presentation skills and thus motivate the students.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S12154
PMCID: PMC3643126  PMID: 23745057
audiovisual aids; medical education; lecture delivery methods; PowerPoint presentations; OHP; chalkboard
14.  Melorheostosis with renal arterio-venous malformation: A case report with review of literature 
Melorheostosis, also known as Leri′s disease and flowing periosteal hyperostosis, is a rare cause of pain and stiffness in a limb. The appearance is of "candle greasing" down one side of one or several bones of the body. We describe a case referred to tertiary care center with suspicion of renal cell carcinoma with diffuse bone metastasis. After reassessment, the patient was diagnosed melorheostosis with renal AV malformation. He was reassured about the benign nature of the disease and is asymptomatic.
doi:10.4103/0971-5851.56336
PMCID: PMC2902215  PMID: 20668607
Flowing periosteal hyperostosis; Leri′s disease; melorheostosis; renal AV malformation
15.  Treatment of Common Ailments by Plant-Based Remedies among the People of District Attock (Punjab) of Northern Pakistan 
District Attock is one of the resource-based areas of medicinal plants in the north of Punjab province of Pakistan. The local people of the area have always used medicinal plants for their common ailments by traditional methods. Indigenous knowledge of local people about medicinal plants is directly linked to their culture and history. It is therefore felt worthwhile to record the indigenous knowledge about the plant-based remedies. The present communication deals with the common diseases treated by plant based remedies such as abdominal pain and worms, asthma, cough and bronchitis, cold, flu, influenza, diabetes, diarrheoa, dysentery, digestive disorders, ear infections and eye complaints. 25 species belonging to 25 genera were used for common ailments. It was found that plant based remedies were used in effective prescriptions, which are simple, inexpensive, and acceptable among the local inhabitants of the area.
PMCID: PMC2816427  PMID: 20162080
Ailments; medicinal plants; Attock; Pakistan
16.  Tents pre-treated with insecticide for malaria control in refugee camps: an entomological evaluation 
Malaria Journal  2004;3:25.
Background
A refugee shelter that is treated with insecticide during manufacture would be useful for malaria control at the acute stage of an emergency, when logistic problems, poor co-ordination and insecurity limit the options for malaria control.
Methods
Tents made of untreated canvas with deltamethrin-treated polyethylene threads interwoven through the canvas during manufacture, 'pre-treated tents', were tested in Pakistan for their impact on malaria vectors. Fixed-time contact bioassays tested the insecticidal activity of the material over 3 months of outdoor weathering. Unweathered tents were erected under large trap-nets on outdoor platforms and tested using wild-caught, host-seeking mosquitoes and insectary-reared mosquitoes released during the night into the trap-nets.
Results
The insecticide-treated tents were effective both in killing mosquitoes and reducing blood-feeding. Mean 24 hour mortality was 25.7% on untreated tents and 50.8% on treated tents (P = 0.001) in wild anophelines and 5.2% on untreated tents and 80.9% on treated tents (P < 0.001) in insectary-reared Anopheles stephensi. Blood-feeding of wild anophelines was reduced from 46% in the presence of an untreated tent to 9.2% (P < 0.001) in the presence of treated tents and from 51.1% to 22.2% (P < 0.001) for insectary-reared An. stephensi. In contact bioassays on tents weathered for three months there was 91.3% mortality after 10-minute exposure and a 24 h holding period and 83.0% mortality after 3-minute exposure and a 24 h holding period.
Conclusion
The results demonstrate the potential of these pre-treated canvas-polyethylene tents for malaria control. Further information on the persistence of the insecticide over an extended period of weathering should be gathered. Because the epidemiological evidence for the effectiveness of pyrethroid-treated tents for malaria control already exists, this technology could be readily adopted as an option for malaria control in refugee camps, provided the insecticidal effect is shown to be sufficiently persistent.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-3-25
PMCID: PMC493276  PMID: 15253773

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