Combined News

BDN Reports on Social Work Grad Students’ Suboxone Research

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:36

The Bangor Daily News reported on research conducted by three graduate social work students at the University of Maine. Last fall, Mikala Thompson, Alaina Crowley and Daniel Cohen began researching how many doctors in the state prescribed Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction, according to the article. Three months after the students began planning their project, Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to eliminate state funding for methadone treatment in favor of Suboxone made headlines, the article states. By contacting the 100-plus doctors on a government list, the students found less than half prescribed Suboxone, according to Thompson, the project’s lead researcher. Forty-three confirmed they’re prescribing the medication, 42 confirmed they weren’t and 27 failed to respond, she said. “Maine is proposing policy decisions based on inaccurate data,” Thompson said. The article was a related story to the report, “‘A system that doesn’t exist:’ Without methadone, patients rely on addiction treatment few Maine doctors prescribe,” which also cited the study.

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Profiles UMaine Business Major in Remission From Cancer

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:35

The Bangor Daily News profiled business major Ethan Hawes and his two-year journey to manage multiple myeloma, which included chemotherapy and stem cell transplant to treat the cancer. The 23-year-old will be among the 1,687 undergraduates and graduate students expected to participate in the 213th Commencement on May 9. “Maybe it won’t hit me, maybe it will,” Hawes said, “but I know that once I hold that diploma, it will be one of the most significant moments of my life so far, because of what it symbolizes and what it means.”

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Philosophical Fairy Tale ‘Man and Superman’ to be Broadcast Live at CCA

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:34

Simon Godwin’s reinvention of Bernard Shaw’s witty 1903 classic “Man and Superman” will be broadcast live on the big screen at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.

Academy Award-nominee Ralph Fiennes plays Jack Tanner in the sold-out stage production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London. “Man and Superman” is billed as a romantic comedy, an epic fairy tale and a fiery philosophical debate that asks fundamental questions about how we live.

Tanner, a celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor descendant of Don Juan, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to Ann (Indira Varma), an alluring heiress. Despite the love of a poet, Ann decides she will marry and tame Tanner. When Tanner’s chauffeur tips him off to Ann’s plan, Tanner flees to Spain, where he’s captured by bandits and meets The Devil (Tim McMullan). A dream debate of heaven versus hell ensues. When Tanner awakens, Ann is there, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.

Since 2009, NT Live has transmitted the best of British theatre live from London to cinemas and venues around the world. The broadcasts are filmed in front of a live audience, with cameras carefully positioned throughout the theatre to ensure cinema audiences get the best-seat-in-the-house view. Productions are transmitted via satellite to the CCA, then projected onto a 40-foot high-definition screen — one of the largest in the state.

Tickets, which are $18 for adults and $8 for students, are available online or by calling 207.581.1755, 1.800.622.TIXX.

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Mechanical Engineering Design Open House

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:33

The Mechanical Engineering Design Open House on May 5 will feature an address by Professor Emeritus Richard Hill, “Fossil Fuels and Alternatives,” beginning at noon in Hill Auditorium, followed by an exhibition of capstone projects from 1:10–5:30 p.m., first floor of Crosby Laboratory. For more information, call 207.409.6872.

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Providing Climate Context

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:58

A research team that includes University of Maine scientists announced a 60,000-year-old ice core from West Antarctica reveals that ocean currents redistributed past abrupt temperature changes in the Arctic to the Antarctic, a distance of about 11,000 miles.

In addition to demonstrating a consistent link between previous sudden, rapid temperature changes in the Arctic and Antarctic, the research explains interactions of climate changes in the northern and southern hemispheres.

UMaine climate scientist Karl Kreutz took part in the project, as did then-doctoral students Bess Koffman and Dan Breton, then-master’s student Dominic Winski and undergraduate Honors student Eliza Kane. Christo Buizert from Oregon State University is the lead author of the research paper published in Nature.

The National Science Foundation-funded study shows over the course of about 200 years, ocean currents spread heat from rapid climate changes during the last ice age in the North Atlantic around Greenland to Antarctica.

The climate in Greenland was unstable during the last ice age (approximately 110,000 to 12,000 years ago) with abrupt 40- to 50-degree F temperature changes that lasted from one to five decades each. Temperature changes in Antarctica followed an opposite pattern, with Antarctica cooling when Greenland was warm, and vice versa.

Project participants say understanding how and why climate changed in the past helps scientists predict how Earth’s climate will respond to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases.

The sudden climate changes during the most recent ice age were regional and caused by large-scale changes in ocean circulation triggered by the collapse of ice sheets. Current changes in temperature and precipitation are global and primarily are caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, say researchers.

“These new results from the WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) Divide ice core are really exciting, and represent the culmination of years of work by the U.S. ice core community,” says Kreutz, a paleoclimatologist (studies the Earth’s climate history).

“The WAIS Divide ice core contains a climate record from Antarctica that has a time resolution comparable to Greenland ice cores, allowing direct comparison of abrupt temperature changes in both hemispheres during the last ice age. The finding that these abrupt climate changes started in the North Atlantic near Greenland, and took about 200 years to move to Antarctica, provides a new context for our understanding of the climate system.”

The goal of the research was to determine the relative timing of temperature changes in the Arctic and Antarctic, with a precision of several decades. To achieve this, researchers needed a climate record from the Southern Hemisphere that extended at least 60,000 years into the past and could resolve fast changes in climate.

The research team consists of 28 science and engineering groups from around the United States, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Desert Research Institute, University of New Hampshire, the U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory and University of Washington.

The team considered sites all over Antarctica before selecting the one with the best combination of thick ice (11,200 feet), simple ice flow and the right amount of annual snowfall (1.5 feet). Previously drilled ice core records from Greenland provided the detailed history of Arctic temperature change and the new ice core provides the Antarctic record necessary to make a detailed comparison.

The 4.8-inch diameter cylinders of ice that make up the 11,200-foot-long ice core were recovered at a field camp in the center of West Antarctica, 650 miles from the geographic South Pole, called WAIS Divide.

When snow falls at WAIS Divide it rarely melts. Instead, it builds up in thick annual layers, which are compressed into ice by subsequent snowfall. The compacted snow contains dust, chemicals and atmospheric gases, which are trapped in the ice. The dust and other chemicals in the ice are indicators of past climate, and the gas contained in air bubbles is a sample of the ancient atmosphere. The deeper the ice, the older it is, and the farther back in time measurements can be made.

To read the paper, visit, nature.com/nature/journal/v520/n7549/full/nature14401.html.

Photo courtesy of Heidi Roop (roop.heidi@gmail.com)

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Categories: Combined News, News

Graduate School Open Assistantship Position

Grad School NEWS - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:05

The Graduate School is accepting applications for one (1) Graduate Assistant position within the Stodder Hall office for the 2015-2016 Academic Year.  Interested applications should review the job description and send a cover letter, resume, and two references to Crystal Burgess (crystal.burgess@maine.edu). 

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UMaine Nepalese Community Holds Vigil, Works to Raise Funds, BDN Reports

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 09:32

The Bangor Daily News reported members of the University of Maine Nepalese community are working to generate awareness and raise money to help victims of the recent earthquake. Riju Shrestha, a senior biochemistry major from Kathmandu, said the group is raising money to send to Grande International Hospital, which is currently providing free medical service to earthquake victims. UMaine student Sujita Pandey’s father works at that hospital so the students have a reliable contact, according to the article. “The [Nepalese] government is trying, but because the destruction is so huge, it’s difficult to reach people,” Shrestha said. “There’s millions out there without food, water. The numbers of people injured goes up daily. We need short-term and long-term help.” A candlelight vigil was held April 30 on the steps of Fogler Library. On Friday, May 1, the group will be accepting donations from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in the Memorial Union, and again during a coffee hour organized by the International Student Association at 4 p.m. in the Union. From 10 p.m.–1 a.m. Saturday, May 2, there will be a fundraiser at the Bear Brew in Orono.

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Tips for Attending UMaine Commencement Ceremonies May 9

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 09:31

University of Maine 2015 Commencement is May 9, with ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Harold Alfond Sports Arena.

Motorists in the Orono area will encounter heavier traffic than usual throughout much of the day. Anyone attending Commencement should plan to arrive early.

Doors open at 8 for the morning session; at 1 for the afternoon. Both ceremonies are ticketed events.

People attending Commencement are urged to park in the Collins Center Parking Lot on campus, where three shuttle buses will transport them to the arena. The best access to the Collins Center Lot is via Rangeley Road.

Shuttle buses also will provide transportation to Alfond Arena from the following parking lots: the Steam Plant Lot on College Avenue, Belgrade Lot on Belgrade Road, Hilltop Lot on Rangeley Road, and Buchanan Alumni House at College Avenue and Munson Road.

Captioned, live video streaming will be available for both ceremonies (umaine.edu/commencement/live-feed).

The morning ceremony is for the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Division of Lifelong Learning, and the Maine Business School. The afternoon ceremony is for the College of Engineering, and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

Backpacks, strollers and large bags of any type cannot be brought to Alfond Arena during Commencement. People are strongly encouraged to leave large bags and any unnecessary items in their vehicles. All items are subject to search.

Spectators are not allowed on the Commencement floor for any purpose, including photos. Only professional photographers hired by the university with proper credentials are permitted to photograph the ceremony from the floor.

Vehicles with handicapped plates or placards can be parked in the Satellite Lot behind Alfond Stadium. There will be a designated handicapped drop-off area on the side of the Alfond Arena, where University Volunteer Ambulance Corps personnel will be available to assist attendees. Entrance to the drop-off area will be the same as the Reserved SkyBox Parking Area. The entry point will be marked from College Ave at Tunk Road, behind Alfond Stadium.

Visitors are reminded that the University of Maine is a tobacco-free campus.

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UMaine Students Apply Training at Regional Dairy Challenge

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 09:29

Nine University of Maine students participated in the 14th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (NAIDC) held in Liverpool, New York in April.

In total, 274 students from 38 colleges across the U.S. and Canada who are training for careers in the dairy industry attended the event.

The Dairy Challenge is a two-day competition for students representing animal and dairy science programs at North American universities. It enables students to apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy farm, while working as part of a team.

Victoria Bobbe, Caitlin Morgan, Sierra Perry and Jeff Vigue, students in the UMaine School of Food and Agriculture, were coached by animal and veterinary science professor David Marcinkowski in the competition.

Challenge participants visited six dairy farms in New York to help farmers evaluate and adapt management to optimize success and animal care. Students also learned about cutting-edge research, new programs and career opportunities from industry professionals.

Teams developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management for an area dairy farm. The teams presented their recommendations to dairy producers and industry experts.

In its 14-year history, NAIDC has trained more than 4,700 students through the national contest, Dairy Challenge Academy and four regional contests conducted annually.

UMaine students Gianna Dettorre, Patricia Donovan, Emily Fortin, Clinton Peebles and Heather Theriault participated in the Dairy Challenge Academy, which was developed in 2013 to expand the educational and networking event to more college students.

Academy participants also analyzed and developed recommendations for operating dairy farms; however, the academy consisted of mixed-university teams with two advisers.

The NAIDC was established as a management contest to incorporate all phases of a specific dairy business. Its mission is to develop tomorrow’s dairy leaders and enhance progress of the dairy industry by providing education, communication and networking among students, producers and agribusiness and university personnel.

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New Media Students Develop Fall Detection Device for Older Adults

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 09:28

University of Maine seniors in the New Media Department are developing a fall detection device for older adults to use outside their homes.

Benjamin Herold-­Porter of Biddeford, Maine, and Heather Anderson of Jonesboro, Maine, have created a prototype that can detect when the person wearing the device has fallen and automatically text a programmed cell phone number without requiring user action.

The students, who were enrolled in a new media wearable device class before starting their capstone, were inspired to create a device that would be of use and benefit to their relatives.

Both Herold-­Porter and Anderson have fairly active grandmothers in their 80s who have fallen while alone outside their homes. With current devices, Herold-­Porter worries his grandmother would forget to press a button when she falls. Anderson says her grandmother, who lives in a big house and carries her own firewood, would need a device that allows mobility and provides extra peace of mind.

Current fall detection devices on the market require the user to initiative service by pressing a button or calling, the students say. In addition, the most popular models consist of a central hub that is placed in the home and limits the device to a 150-foot radius. The students’ prototype relies on mobile networks and can be used anywhere.

The device consists of three major parts: an accelerometer or gyroscope that detects movement; a mini cellphone module that provides access to mobile networks; and a microcontroller or minicomputer that interprets the data from the sensor and tells the cellphone to send a text message. The pieces are wired together and stored in a plastic case made by a UMaine mechanical engineering student that can be worn on a lanyard around the neck.

One out of three adults aged 65 or older falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually and 45 percent of falls by older adults occur outside the home, the students say, citing statistics from the online fall prevention course Learn Not to Fall.

To test their project, the students asked anonymous users at the Alfond Arena’s public free skate to wear the device while ice skating. The device detected all falls, but also some false positives based on movements such as spins, which the students have since worked to improve.

The students, who worked under the supervision of new media professor Mike Scott, received an initial grant to cover the cost of the prototype and are applying for a grant through the Maine Technology Institute to make improvements.

The students say future possibilities for the device include using smaller parts, adding GPS and more functions such as a walk counter, vitals detector or the ability to make phone calls.

Categories: Combined News, News

WABI Reports on Presentations of MET Projects to Help Girl Play Instrument

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:47

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the presentation of seven teams of University of Maine Mechanical Engineering Technology students who unveiled devices they designed to allow an 8-year-old girl with one hand to play the recorder. The students presented their senior capstone projects to several judges, as well as Nia, the local girl who was born without a left hand. Nia tested the devices and selected her favorite to take home. “I wanted it [the project] to have some real world application where it would help someone, and you know Nia’s the perfect example,” said engineering student Mackenzie Sutter.

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Former UMaine Professor Sidell Mentioned in VSU Article on Antarctic Research

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:47

Bruce Sidell, a former University of Maine professor and founding director of the university’s School of Marine Sciences who passed away in 2011, was mentioned in a Valdosta State University article about an international research team studying in Antarctica. Theresa Grove, a comparative physiologist and biochemist, and associate professor in the Department of Biology at Georgia’s VSU, was invited to participate in a three-month research study at Palmer Station, according to the article. Grove will join Kristin O’Brien from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Lisa Crockett from Ohio University, the article states. “One interesting note about the research team is that Kristin, Lisa and I earned our Ph.D.’s from the University of Maine under the guidance of Dr. Bruce D. Sidell, a leader in the field of fish physiology and cold adaptation. As academic siblings, we are looking forward to again working together in Antarctica,” Grove said.

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Socolow Quoted in MPBN Report About MaineToday Media Sale

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:45

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Michael Socolow, an associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine, for a report about the recent announcement that MaineToday Media’s current owner S. Donald Sussman plans to sell the company to Camden media executive Reade Brower. The union representing more than half of MaineToday Media’s nearly 400 employees said its members are anxious about the company’s latest ownership change, according to the report. Socolow spoke about former publisher Richard Connor who ran the Press Herald and associated newspapers for 27 months. “I think what’s being forgotten with the new purchase is that the Connor years were very, very difficult for the Portland Press Herald,” Socolow said citing the selling of the paper’s headquarters in downtown Portland, letting go of several reporters and fights with the union. “He sucked a lot of money out of that company,” Socolow added.

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WABI Covers Maine Day

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:45

WABI (Channel 5) reported on Maine Day, the University of Maine’s annual campuswide spring cleanup tradition. Throughout the day, UMaine community members completed service projects aimed at sprucing up campus, enjoyed a free barbecue, and competed for the oozeball — mud volleyball — championship. “We use the university grounds for everything, and we live here so it’s only fitting that we take at least one day to give back to the school that provides us living, food, etc.,” said junior Justin Duncan. Despite a few spring showers, students enjoyed the day’s events, according to the report. “It’s definitely all about the community, giving back to campus, spending time with good people, eating some good food, and being together and celebrating UMaine and oozeball. Go Black Bears,” said junior Jefferson Adams.

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School of Forest Resources Mentioned in BDN Article on Lincoln Vernal Pool

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:44

The Bangor Daily News reported a recent discovery of vernal pools near Lincoln Regional Airport threatens the town’s ability to develop an industrial zone outside of a local paper mill’s campus, according to officials. The town is paying students from the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources about $1,050 to determine the environmental significance of the vernal pools, the article states. As part of the study, the students will deploy sensors via airplane, and their report is due May 6.

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Times Higher Education Publishes Column by Rogers

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:43

Times Higher Education of London recently published the column, “Worker bees are doing more for less of the honey,” by Deborah Rogers, an English professor at the University of Maine.

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Communicators Summit 2.0 Slated for May 20

University of Maine News - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:42

The University of Maine’s Communicators Summit 2.0, “Beyond the Brand: Integrated Communication” will be held 9–11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 20 in Wells Conference Center.

Provost Jeffrey E. Hecker will give a welcome and overview. The event will feature a discussion of UMaine’s current communication and branding efforts, as well as emerging initiatives from 9–10:30 a.m., followed by topical breakout sessions.

Sign up online for sessions and to submit questions or comments for discussion.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 581.3743.

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Ippolito Receives Thoma Foundation’s Inaugural Digital Arts Writing Award

University of Maine News - Wed, 04/29/2015 - 14:04

Jon Ippolito, a professor in the New Media Department at the University of Maine, has received a $30,000 award for his digital arts writing.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation announced the recipients of its inaugural Arts Writing Fellowship Awards in the digital arts on April 21. The merit-based awards recognize the achievements of both an established and an emerging arts writer who have contributed significantly to the field of writing in the digital arts, according to the foundation.

The awards were created to reward and promote sustained commitment to arts writing that advances the scholarship, history, criticism and theory of the digital arts and evolving technologies within contemporary art, the foundation states.

Ippolito received the award for being an established arts writer in the U.S. Joanne McNeil, a freelance writer from New York City, received $15,000 as an emerging arts writer.

“I’m tremendously honored to be among the first tapped for this distinction,” Ippolito says. “Yet in many ways this award goes beyond individual recognition to celebrate the maturity and relevance of the field of new media art. Curators and historians, take note: Digital art is here to stay.”

Ippolito has written several books and conducted projects on digital curation and social media. His most recent book, “Re-collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory” focuses on the threat that technological obsolescence presents for digital culture.

His current projects, including the Variable Media Network, a database that documents artists’ intents about future re-creations of their work; and ThoughtMesh, an online framework for connected publication; as well as past books, such as “At the Edge of Art,” aim to expand the art world beyond its traditions.

Ippolito has been a new media professor at UMaine since 2002. He helped establish an undergraduate curriculum in 2003 and spearheaded the development of the graduate Digital Curation program in 2011, which he continues to direct.

He also is co-director of the Still Water lab located on the fourth floor of UMaine’s Chadbourne Hall. He created the lab in 2003 with fellow new media professor Joline Blais as a flexible multipurpose space for ongoing new media projects that are open to community observation or participation.

Ippolito has a bachelor’s degree in physics and astrophysics from Harvard and a master’s degree in painting and printmaking from Yale. He has served as associate curator of media arts at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation was established in 1986 to fulfill the couple’s passion for philanthropy, and in 2014, they created the art foundation to distinguish their visual art initiatives.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation recognizes the arts can influence attitudes, increase tolerance for differences and encourage new solutions. The foundation lends and exhibits artworks and supports innovative individuals and pivotal initiatives in the arts, according to the foundation.

The Thoma Foundation is based in Chicago and Santa Fe but contains local, national and international programs.

More information about the Thoma Foundation and the Arts Writing Fellowship Awards is online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

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Press Herald Reports on UMaine Business Challenge Winner

University of Maine News - Wed, 04/29/2015 - 13:38

The Portland Press Herald reported University of Maine Ph.D. student Nadir Yildirim and UMaine alumnus Alexander Chasse won the 2015 UMaine Business Challenge for their company that aims to develop forest-based, environmentally friendly materials for the construction, insulation and food-packaging industries. Yildirim, a student in the Wood Science and Technology Program in the School of Forest Resources, and Chasse, a 2013 civil engineering graduate and current UMaine researcher, received $5,000 to further develop their business, Revolution Research, Inc. RRI’s first product is a foam insulation board that is made from natural resources and 100 percent recyclable, unlike similar petroleum-based products, according to the article. “Our mission is to protect and improve global human health,” Yildirim said. “Winning the UMaine Business Challenge means we are on to something. It means that the judges have faith in our company and that we can make a difference.”

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BDN Publishes Fuller’s Fiddlehead Picking, Cooking Tips

University of Maine News - Wed, 04/29/2015 - 13:37

David Fuller, an agricultural and non-timber forest products professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, wrote an article for the Bangor Daily News titled “How to identify, pick and cook fiddleheads — and when to leave them alone.” Fuller also will speak at the fourth annual Maine Fiddlehead Festival on May 2 at the University of Maine at Farmington, according to the article. Fuller will teach participants about the science, identification and sustainable harvest of ostrich fern fiddleheads, the article states.

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