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Musa, A., J. Ashraf, F. - J. Tsai, S. A. Magd, C. Liu, H. Hussain, E. Voslarova, M. A. Khalil, K. B. Wolitzky-Taylor, D. Lee, et al., "Depression Severity and Depression Stigma Among Students: A Survey of Universities in Five Countries", The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, vol. 208, issue 11, 2020. AbstractWebsite

In the university setting, mental disorders have come under greater scrutiny and more attention has been given toward addressing the social stigmas associated with mental illness in an effort to promote mental well-being and improve mental health care delivery on-campus. Depression has been previously linked to a reduction in quality of life, suicidal ideation, and poor academic performance. However, few studies have directly compared the burden of depression or stigmatized views between multiple universities. As a result, this cross-sectional study of university students from five countries was performed to determine the burden of depressive disorders, the stigmatizations of beliefs related to depression, and international variation. A questionnaire consisting of a sociodemographic survey, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Depression Stigma Scale (DSS) was distributed via multiple routes to undergraduate and graduate students at institutions in the United States, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Czech Republic. The point prevalence of depression was determined by using the algorithm scoring method of the PHQ-9. Depression severity was determined according to the summed-item scoring method of the PHQ-9. The degree of stigmatization of beliefs was determined by continuous scores on the DSS subscales for personal and perceived stigma. Differences in depression severity, personal stigma, and perceived stigma were determined according to analysis of variance and further studied using post hoc Tukey's tests. Responses were collected from students in the United States (n = 593), United Arab Emirates (n = 134), Taiwan (n = 217), Egypt (n = 105), and Czech Republic (n = 238). Of 1287 responses, 30.7% (n = 396) screened positive for a depressive disorder: 18.0% (n = 232) for major depressive disorder and 12.7% (n = 164) for another depressive disorder. Depression severity differed internationally (p < 0.001). Emirati students significantly exhibited most depression followed by Czech, American, and Taiwanese students (all ps < 0.001). There was also a difference between students of different countries in terms of personal stigma (p < 0.001), with Emirati students holding more stigmatized personal views than Czech, American, Egyptian, and Taiwanese students (all ps < 0.001). Students similarly demonstrated differences in terms of personal stigma (p < 0.001). Egyptian students exhibited the most perceived stigma followed by Emirati, Taiwanese, American, and Czech students (all ps < 0.001). These findings suggest a high point prevalence of depression among university students and differences in the severity of depression, which has implications for the delivery of mental health care in this population. There were significant differences in terms of personal and perceived stigma between university students, indicating resource allocation for university-based campaigns to reduce depression stigma may need to be tailored to the population. After implementation of stigma reduction programs, future follow-up surveys can be done to compare degrees of stigma before and after the intervention.

Mohammed-Saeid, W., R. Soudy, R. Tikoo, K. Kaur, R. E. Verrall, and I. Badea, "Design and Evaluation of Gemini Surfactant-Based Lipoplexes Modified with Cell-Binding Peptide for Targeted Gene Therapy in Melanoma Model.", Journal of pharmacy & pharmaceutical sciences : a publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Societe canadienne des sciences pharmaceutiques, vol. 21, issue 1, pp. 363-375, 2018. Abstract

Purpose Achieving successful gene therapy requires delivery of a gene vector specifically to the targeted tissue with efficient expression and a good safety profile. The objective of this work was to develop, characterize and determine if a novel gemini surfactant-based lipoplex systems, modified with a cancer-targeting peptide p18-4, could serve this role. Methods The targeting peptide p18-4 was either chemically coupled to a gemini surfactant backbone or physically co-formulated with the lipoplexes. The influence of targeting ligand and formulation strategies on essential physicochemical properties of the lipoplexes was evaluated by dynamic light scattering and small angle X-ray scattering techniques. In vitro transfection activity and cellular toxicity of lipoplexes were assessed in a model human melanoma cell line. Results All lipoplexes zeta potential and particle size were optimal for cellular uptake and physical stability of the system. The lipoplexes adopted an inverted-hexagonal lipid arrangement. The lipoplexes modified with the peptide showed no significant changes in physicochemical properties or lipoplex assembly. The modification of the lipoplexes with the targeting peptide significantly enhanced protein expression 2-6 fold compared to non-modified lipoplexes. In addition, p18-4 modified lipoplexes significantly improved the safety of the lipoplexes. The ability of the p18-4 modified lipoplexes to selectively express the model protein was confirmed by using healthy human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKa). Conclusion The gemini surfactant-based lipoplexes modified with p18-4 peptide showed significantly higher efficiency and safety compared to the system that did not contain a cancer targeting peptide and provided evidence for their potential application to achieve targeted melanoma gene therapy.

Mohammed-Saeid, W., R. Soudy, R. Tikoo, K. Kaur, R. E. Verrall, and I. Badea, "Design and Evaluation of Gemini Surfactant-Based Lipoplexes Modified with Cell-Binding Peptide for Targeted Gene Therapy in Melanoma Model.", Journal of pharmacy & pharmaceutical sciences : a publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Societe canadienne des sciences pharmaceutiques, vol. 21, issue 1, pp. 363-375, 2018. Abstract

Purpose Achieving successful gene therapy requires delivery of a gene vector specifically to the targeted tissue with efficient expression and a good safety profile. The objective of this work was to develop, characterize and determine if a novel gemini surfactant-based lipoplex systems, modified with a cancer-targeting peptide p18-4, could serve this role. Methods The targeting peptide p18-4 was either chemically coupled to a gemini surfactant backbone or physically co-formulated with the lipoplexes. The influence of targeting ligand and formulation strategies on essential physicochemical properties of the lipoplexes was evaluated by dynamic light scattering and small angle X-ray scattering techniques. In vitro transfection activity and cellular toxicity of lipoplexes were assessed in a model human melanoma cell line. Results All lipoplexes zeta potential and particle size were optimal for cellular uptake and physical stability of the system. The lipoplexes adopted an inverted-hexagonal lipid arrangement. The lipoplexes modified with the peptide showed no significant changes in physicochemical properties or lipoplex assembly. The modification of the lipoplexes with the targeting peptide significantly enhanced protein expression 2-6 fold compared to non-modified lipoplexes. In addition, p18-4 modified lipoplexes significantly improved the safety of the lipoplexes. The ability of the p18-4 modified lipoplexes to selectively express the model protein was confirmed by using healthy human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKa). Conclusion The gemini surfactant-based lipoplexes modified with p18-4 peptide showed significantly higher efficiency and safety compared to the system that did not contain a cancer targeting peptide and provided evidence for their potential application to achieve targeted melanoma gene therapy.

Shahin, H. I., B. P. Vinjamuri, A. A. Mahmoud, R. N. Shamma, S. M. Mansour, H. O. Ammar, M. M. Ghorab, M. B. Chougule, and L. Chablani, "Design and evaluation of novel inhalable sildenafil citrate spray-dried microparticles for pulmonary arterial hypertension.", Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society, vol. 302, pp. 126-139, 2019. Abstract

Pulmonary delivery of vasodilators is a promising alternative for the intravenous and oral treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The aim of this study was to design and evaluate hydrogel microparticles as a carrier for sustained pulmonary delivery of sildenafil citrate. Spray dried hydrogel microparticles containing biodegradable sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, sodium alginate, and sodium hyaluronate polymers at variable concentrations were prepared. A design of experiment using the "Extreme Vertices Mixture" design was executed. The design was used to study the influence of polymer concentration and their interactions on the physicochemical properties of the formulations in terms of particle size, particle size distribution, product yield, entrapment efficiency, and in-vitro drug release. Selected formulations were also evaluated for swelling, biodegradation, moisture content, in-vitro aerodynamic performance, and cytotoxicity. In addition, a lung deposition and pharmacokinetic study was conducted in rats to study drug accumulation in lungs and blood after intratracheal administration of the spray dried inhalable hydrogel microparticles in comparison to orally administered Viagra®. The results demonstrated that formulated microparticles had a mean geometric particle size between 2 and 5 μm, entrapment efficiency of >80%, and yield ranging between 47 and 66% w/w. The in-vitro drug release profiles showed a sustained drug release of sildenafil citrate for over 24 h. The statistical design showed a significant influence of the microparticulate composition on the physicochemical properties. Furthermore, selected formulations were evaluated for their aerodynamic properties. The aerodynamic properties included fine particle fraction ranging between 24 and 30%, dose recovery percent of 68-8 5%, and average mass median aerodynamic diameter of 4.6-4.8 μm. The in-vivo pharmacokinetic study showed that inhaled spray dried hydrogel microparticles (M6) formulation had significantly higher lung/blood C, AUC, extended half-life, and mean residence time in comparison to orally administered sildenafil citrate of the same dose. In conclusion, the formulated drug-loaded spray dried hydrogel microparticles showed promising in-vitro and in-vivo results for the pulmonary delivery of sildenafil citrate. The spray dried hydrogel microparticles formulation can be considered as a potential alternative of oral sildenafil citrate for treatment of PAH.

Hend I. Shahin, Hussein O. Ammar, Suzan M. Mansour, M. M. G, A. A.mahmoud, Rehab N. Shamma, and B. P. Vinjamuri, "Design and evaluation of novel inhalable sildenafil citrate spray-dried microparticles for pulmonary arterial hypertension. ", Journal of Controlled Release., vol. 302, pp. 126-139, 2019. hend_paper.pdf
Shahin, H. I., B. P. Vinjamuri, A. A. Mahmoud, R. N. Shamma, S. M. Mansour, H. O. Ammar, M. M. Ghorab, M. B. Chougule, and L. Chablani, "Design and evaluation of novel inhalable sildenafil citrate spray-dried microparticles for pulmonary arterial hypertension.", Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society, vol. 302, pp. 126-139, 2019. Abstract

Pulmonary delivery of vasodilators is a promising alternative for the intravenous and oral treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The aim of this study was to design and evaluate hydrogel microparticles as a carrier for sustained pulmonary delivery of sildenafil citrate. Spray dried hydrogel microparticles containing biodegradable sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, sodium alginate, and sodium hyaluronate polymers at variable concentrations were prepared. A design of experiment using the "Extreme Vertices Mixture" design was executed. The design was used to study the influence of polymer concentration and their interactions on the physicochemical properties of the formulations in terms of particle size, particle size distribution, product yield, entrapment efficiency, and in-vitro drug release. Selected formulations were also evaluated for swelling, biodegradation, moisture content, in-vitro aerodynamic performance, and cytotoxicity. In addition, a lung deposition and pharmacokinetic study was conducted in rats to study drug accumulation in lungs and blood after intratracheal administration of the spray dried inhalable hydrogel microparticles in comparison to orally administered Viagra®. The results demonstrated that formulated microparticles had a mean geometric particle size between 2 and 5 μm, entrapment efficiency of >80%, and yield ranging between 47 and 66% w/w. The in-vitro drug release profiles showed a sustained drug release of sildenafil citrate for over 24 h. The statistical design showed a significant influence of the microparticulate composition on the physicochemical properties. Furthermore, selected formulations were evaluated for their aerodynamic properties. The aerodynamic properties included fine particle fraction ranging between 24 and 30%, dose recovery percent of 68-8 5%, and average mass median aerodynamic diameter of 4.6-4.8 μm. The in-vivo pharmacokinetic study showed that inhaled spray dried hydrogel microparticles (M6) formulation had significantly higher lung/blood C, AUC, extended half-life, and mean residence time in comparison to orally administered sildenafil citrate of the same dose. In conclusion, the formulated drug-loaded spray dried hydrogel microparticles showed promising in-vitro and in-vivo results for the pulmonary delivery of sildenafil citrate. The spray dried hydrogel microparticles formulation can be considered as a potential alternative of oral sildenafil citrate for treatment of PAH.

Ballesté, C., R. Valero, M. Istrate, P. Peralta, A. A. Mosharafa, A. A. Morsy, M. A. Bakr, A. I. Kamal Abdelkader, H. Sheashaa, G. S. Juvelekian, et al., "Design and implementation of the European-Mediterranean Postgraduate Programme on Organ Donation and Transplantation (EMPODaT) for Middle East/North Africa countries.", Transplant international : official journal of the European Society for Organ Transplantation, 2021. Abstract

This prospective study reports the design and results obtained after the EMPODaT project implementation. This project was funded by the Tempus programme of the European Commission with the objective to implement a common postgraduate programme on organ donation and transplantation (ODT) in six selected universities from Middle East/North Africa (MENA) countries (Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco). The consortium, coordinated by the University of Barcelona, included universities from Spain, Germany, Sweden and France. The first phase of the project was to perform an analysis of the current situation in the beneficiary countries, including existing training programmes on ODT, Internet connection, digital facilities and competences, training needs, and ODT activity and accreditation requirements. A total of 90 healthcare postgraduate students participated in the 1-year training programme (30 ECTS academic credits). The methodology was based on e-learning modules and face-to-face courses in English and French. Training activities were evaluated through pre- and post-tests, self-assessment activities and evaluation charts. Quality was assessed through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The project results on a reproducible and innovative international postgraduate programme, improvement of knowledge, satisfaction of the participants and confirms the need on professionalizing the activity as the cornerstone to ensure organ transplantation self-sufficiency in MENA countries.

Oudah, K. H., W. R. Mahmoud, F. M. Awadallah, A. T. Taher, S. E. - S. Abbas, H. A. Allam, D. Vullo, and C. T. Supuran, "Design and synthesis of some new benzoylthioureido benzene sulfonamide derivatives and their analogues as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors", Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry , vol. 38, issue 1, pp. 12-23, 2023. paper_15.pdf
Najm, M. A. A., W. R. Mahmoud, A. T. Taher, S. E. - S. Abbas, F. M. Awadallah, H. A. Allam, D. Vullo, and C. T. Supuran, "Design and synthesis of some new benzoylthioureido phenyl derivatives targeting carbonic anhydrase enzymes", Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry , vol. 37, issue 1, pp. 2702-2709, 2022. paper_14.pdf
Polychronopoulou, K., A. A. AlKhoori, A. M. Efstathiou, M. A. Jaoude, C. M. Damaskinos, M. A. Baker, A. Almutawa, D. H. Anjum, M. A. Vasiliades, A. Belabbes, et al., "Design aspects of doped CeO2 for low-temperature catalytic CO oxidation: transient kinetics and DFT approach", ACS applied materials & interfaces, vol. 13, no. 19: American Chemical Society, pp. 22391–22415, 2021. Abstract
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Polychronopoulou, K., A. A. AlKhoori, A. M. Efstathiou, M. A. Jaoude, C. M. Damaskinos, M. A. Baker, A. Almutawa, D. H. Anjum, M. A. Vasiliades, A. Belabbes, et al., "Design aspects of doped CeO2 for low-temperature catalytic CO oxidation: transient kinetics and DFT approach", ACS applied materials & interfaces, vol. 13, no. 19: American Chemical Society, pp. 22391–22415, 2021. Abstract

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Valdebran, M., A. Elbendary, Z. Kolansky, R. Sainai, and E. Blochin, "Desmoplastic trichilemmoma of the scalp", Dermatology online journal, vol. 7, issue 2, pp. 238-239, 2016.
Myrta, A., B. Di-Terlezzil, K. Caglayan, I. Gavriei, G. Ghanem, and C. Varveri, "Detection and serotyping of Mediterranean plum pox virus isolates by means of strain-specific monoclonal antibodies: serotyping of Mediterranean ppv isolates by mabs", Journal Mansoura Univeristy of Agriculture Science (Egypt), 1999. Abstract
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Myrta, A., B. Di-Terlizzi, D. Bosia, K. Caglayan, I. Gavriel, G. A. M. Ghanem, and V. Vareveri, C. and Savino, "Detection and serotyping of plum pox virus (PPV) isolates by means of monoclonal antibodies.", Acta Virol., vol. 42, issue (4), pp. 251-253, 1998. Abstract
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b Ismail, M. S. a, W. a Wynendaele, J. L. E. a Aerts, R. a c Paridaens, R. b Gaafar, N. b Shakankiry, H. M. b Khaled, M. - R. a Christiaens, H. a Wildiers, S. b Omar, et al., "Detection of Micrometastatic Disease and Monitoring of Perioperative Tumor Cell Dissemination in Primary Operable Breast Cancer Patients Using Real-Time Quantitative Reverse Transcription-PCR", Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 10, no. 1 I, pp. 196-201, 2004. AbstractWebsite

Purpose: We previously found a statistically significant number of cytokeratin 19 (CK19)+ cells in peripheral blood (PB) of stage IV breast cancer (BC) patients compared with those of healthy volunteers, using a quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR. We aimed to apply the technique on bone marrow (BM) of primary operable BC patients. Pre- and postoperative PB samples of these patients were further analyzed to investigate possible shedding of CK19+ cells during the operation. Experimental Design: In 54 primary operable BC patients, we analyzed 50 BM samples taken preoperatively and 297 PB samples. PB samples were collected before surgery; immediately after surgery; on the first, second, and fifth day postoperatively; and one month postoperatively. Results: In BM of controls and BC patients, we detected a median of 28 and 568 CK19+ cells/5 × 106 leukocytes, respectively (P < 0.001). In preoperative blood (B-1) samples, we measured a median of 109 CK19+ cells. Using the upper limit of 95% confidence interval of controls as cutoff, 74% and 52% of BM and (B-1), respectively were considered CK19+. There was no significant correlation between CK19+ cells in BM and (B-1) and classical prognostic factors. We found no significant difference between blood samples at different time points with respect to the average CK19+ cells. Conclusions: In primary BC patients, we detected high numbers of CK19+ cells in BM and PB (B-1) samples compared with controls. However, no significant correlation between the presence of CK19+ cells in BM and PB and classical prognostic factors was found. We detected no statistically significant influence of surgical manipulation on CK19+ cells.

b Ismail, M. S. a, W. a Wynendaele, J. L. E. a Aerts, R. a c Paridaens, R. b Gaafar, N. b Shakankiry, H. M. b Khaled, M. - R. a Christiaens, H. a Wildiers, S. b Omar, et al., "Detection of Micrometastatic Disease and Monitoring of Perioperative Tumor Cell Dissemination in Primary Operable Breast Cancer Patients Using Real-Time Quantitative Reverse Transcription-PCR", Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 10, no. 1 I, pp. 196-201, 2004. AbstractWebsite

Purpose: We previously found a statistically significant number of cytokeratin 19 (CK19)+ cells in peripheral blood (PB) of stage IV breast cancer (BC) patients compared with those of healthy volunteers, using a quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR. We aimed to apply the technique on bone marrow (BM) of primary operable BC patients. Pre- and postoperative PB samples of these patients were further analyzed to investigate possible shedding of CK19+ cells during the operation. Experimental Design: In 54 primary operable BC patients, we analyzed 50 BM samples taken preoperatively and 297 PB samples. PB samples were collected before surgery; immediately after surgery; on the first, second, and fifth day postoperatively; and one month postoperatively. Results: In BM of controls and BC patients, we detected a median of 28 and 568 CK19+ cells/5 × 106 leukocytes, respectively (P < 0.001). In preoperative blood (B-1) samples, we measured a median of 109 CK19+ cells. Using the upper limit of 95% confidence interval of controls as cutoff, 74% and 52% of BM and (B-1), respectively were considered CK19+. There was no significant correlation between CK19+ cells in BM and (B-1) and classical prognostic factors. We found no significant difference between blood samples at different time points with respect to the average CK19+ cells. Conclusions: In primary BC patients, we detected high numbers of CK19+ cells in BM and PB (B-1) samples compared with controls. However, no significant correlation between the presence of CK19+ cells in BM and PB and classical prognostic factors was found. We detected no statistically significant influence of surgical manipulation on CK19+ cells.

Ismail, M. S., W. Wynendaele, J. L. E. Aerts, R. Paridaens, R. Gaafar, N. Shakankiry, H. M. Khaled, M. - R. Christiaens, H. Wildiers, S. Omar, et al., "Detection of micrometastatic disease and monitoring of perioperative tumor cell dissemination in primary operable breast cancer patients using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR.", Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, vol. 10, issue 1 Pt 1, pp. 196-201, 2004 Jan 1. Abstract

PURPOSE: We previously found a statistically significant number of cytokeratin 19 (CK19)+ cells in peripheral blood (PB) of stage IV breast cancer (BC) patients compared with those of healthy volunteers, using a quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR. We aimed to apply the technique on bone marrow (BM) of primary operable BC patients. Pre- and postoperative PB samples of these patients were further analyzed to investigate possible shedding of CK19+ cells during the operation.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In 54 primary operable BC patients, we analyzed 50 BM samples taken preoperatively and 297 PB samples. PB samples were collected before surgery; immediately after surgery; on the first, second, and fifth day postoperatively; and one month postoperatively.

RESULTS: In BM of controls and BC patients, we detected a median of 28 and 568 CK19+ cells/5 x 10(6) leukocytes, respectively (P < 0.001). In preoperative blood (B-1) samples, we measured a median of 109 CK19+ cells. Using the upper limit of 95% confidence interval of controls as cutoff, 74% and 52% of BM and (B-1), respectively were considered CK19+. There was no significant correlation between CK19+ cells in BM and (B-1) and classical prognostic factors. We found no significant difference between blood samples at different time points with respect to the average CK19+ cells.

CONCLUSIONS: In primary BC patients, we detected high numbers of CK19+ cells in BM and PB (B-1) samples compared with controls. However, no significant correlation between the presence of CK19+ cells in BM and PB and classical prognostic factors was found. We detected no statistically significant influence of surgical manipulation on CK19+ cells.

Casini, M., M. A. Harith, V. Palleschi, A. Salvetti, D. P. Singh, and M. Vaselli, "Detection of pollutants in air by time-resolved LIBS System", Europhysics Conference Abstracts B, vol. 14, pp. 292, 1990. Abstract
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Khadra, M. A., K. McConnell, R. VanDyke, V. Somers, M. Fenchel, S. Quadri, J. Jefferies, A. P. Cohen, M. Rutter, and R. Amin, "Determinants of Regional Cerebral Oxygenation in Children with Sleep-disordered Breathing", Am J Respir Crit Care Med, vol. 178, issue 8, pp. 870-875, 2008.
Khadra, M. A., K. McConnell, R. VanDyke, V. Somers, M. Fenchel, S. Quadri, J. Jefferies, A. P. Cohen, M. Rutter, and R. Amin, "Determinants of regional cerebral oxygenation in children with sleep-disordered breathing.", Am J Respir Crit Care Med, vol. 178, issue 8, pp. 870-5, 2008.
Chatrchyan, S., V. Khachatryan, A. M. Sirunyan, A. Tumasyan, W. Adam, T. Bergauer, M. Dragicevic, J. Erö, C. Fabjan, M. Friedl, et al., "Determination of jet energy calibration and transverse momentum resolution in CMS", Journal of Instrumentation, vol. 6, no. 11, 2011. AbstractWebsite
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Bayet, E., Z. Awad, and S. Viti, "Deuterated species in extragalactic star-forming regions", The Astrophysical Journal, vol. 725, no. 1: IOP Publishing, pp. 214, 2010. Abstract
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Awad, Z., S. Viti, E. Bayet, and P. Caselli, "Deuterium chemistry of dense gas in the vicinity of low-mass and massive star-forming regions", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 443, no. 1: Oxford University Press, pp. 275–287, 2014. Abstract
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