Volunteers sought to get hooked

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					                                              The Official Newsletter of the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
                        Volume 3 Issue 7                                                                                                        October 2008
Date for
your diary:          Volunteers sought to ‘get hooked’
                     A School honours student,
October 31—          investigating the effectiveness of
Halloween            worm infestation in the treatment of
                     gastrointestinal infections, needs
                     your help.
                     Melissa Logan is appealing for
                     volunteers to be infected with hookworm
                     as part of an experiment to test its
                     effectiveness against Crohn’s disease, a
                     chronic condition where a person’s own
                     immune system attacks their digestive
                     “The use of maggots and leeches, and
                     even bee venom, in the fight against
                     injury and disease are centuries-old
                     techniques already enjoying a comeback
                     in modern medicine. Hookworm is a
                     relatively new addition,” said Melissa.
                     “When introduced to patients suffering
                     Crohn’s disease, this tiny worm can
                     reverse the autoimmune response by
                     creating an immune response to its
                     presence and effectively put the disease
                     into remission.”
                     Hookworm (Necator americanus and
Inside this          Ancylostoma duodenale) is transmitted
                     when eggs in infected human faeces are
                     deposited on the ground, hatch and
issue:               develop into microscopic larvae. People
                     become infected when the larvae
                     penetrate the skin, usually of the foot,
Anatomists      2    and eventually migrate to the small
thank donors         intestine.
                     “N. americanus is a good candidate to
                     use in biotherapy as it causes relatively
Vet students     2   asymptomatic infection and is capable of
learn the key to     surviving in the gut for up to five years,”
                     said Melissa. “But introducing larvae that
a good steak         have been contaminated by faecal flora
                     can pose a major threat to patients who
                     are already immunocompromised.”               Compared to many parasites, hookworm is miniscule, rarely growing to more than a centimetre in length.
Staff reign     2    In the past, when using the larvae for        hookworm that has been prepared with                     The site of infection will be monitored
supreme at           therapy, they have simply been washed         the new techniques. They must also be                    over the next three weeks for the
                     in disinfectant; but this often makes         available for three months starting early                presence of topical infection. Blood and
trivia               them infertile and can even kill them.        next year,” she said.                                    faecal samples will also be taken
                     Melissa plans to treat the larvae with        Hookworm infection is prevalent in                       regularly to monitor the response to
New           3      antibiotics for a more successful             underdeveloped countries and can                         infection and the presence of eggs,
                     outcome.                                      cause gastrointestinal disease and                       which indicates viable adult infection.
emergency vet        “We are now looking into new                  anaemia, but this is generally due to a                  “The project has been scrutinised by the
ready for            techniques to make the manufacture of         heavy worm burden, recurrent exposure                    human ethics committee and although it
action               therapeutic larvae more efficient, more       or the fact that many sufferers already                  sounds a bit bizarre, it is safe and really
                     mass produced and as safe as possible.        have underlying conditions that have                     interesting research for people with a
                     But the larvae still have to be able do       compromised their immune system.                         sense of discovery to be involved in,”
School news     3    their job,” she said.                         “For healthy volunteers, hookworm                        said project supervisor Dr Jeff Warner.
                     One of the aims of the project is to          infection should not be a problem,”                      “To thank participants there will be a
Vet students    4    compare the affects of infection with         assured Melissa. “As a precaution we                     deworming party at the completion of the
                     traditionally harvested hookworm with         will undertake a basic health check on                   project where various chemicals will be
have a ball          that of bacteria-free hookworm and to         all volunteers and only infect them with a               used to safely eradicate the critters.”
                     determine if the newly prepared larvae        very low dose.”                                          Hookworms are also being trialled in
Meet...Sherie   4    are as effective in establishing infection    The 12-week process involves the                         patients with other autoimmune
                     as those prepared traditionally. But to       hookworm larvae being placed on gauze                    diseases such as celiac, multiple
Everingham           run the project, Melissa needs                which is then attached to the underside                  sclerosis and irritable bowel syndrome;
                     volunteers.                                   of the forearm.                                          as well as asthma. “The implications are
                     “I am looking for up to 15 willing subjects   “Infection occurs within a matter of hours               far reaching,” said Melissa.
                     to be involved in the experiment; some        and, for the next three months, the host                 Those interested in being involved can
                     to be infected with the traditionally         should feel nothing of the worms inside                  email Jeffrey.Warner@jcu.edu.au or
                     harvested hookworm and some with the          them,” said Melissa.                                     Melissa.Logan@jcu.edu.au
                  Page 2                                                                                                         Across the Creek

Faculty gives thanks to anatomical gift donors
“The body is as sacred as a temple and so to            “I have been amazed at how positive and
give something so precious is a humane and              supportive these people have been and how much
noble act,” said one Medical student in thanks          joy they have for life,” she said. “I am also touched            “This is my body
to the twelve people who have donated their             by the families of donors who, even at a time of
bodies to the JCU Human Bequest Program.                great loss and sorrow, have gone out of their way             The shell of my being
The student was speaking at the inaugural               to contact us to ensure the donation process is
Thanksgiving Service, organised by the Discipline       fulfilled.”                                                   Which is given to you
of Anatomy, to honour the lasting legacy left by        Retired surgeon Gwen Morris, anatomy tutor and a         In a final offering to the world
donors to the program.                                  registrant of the bequest program, read a poem
The service was held at Uni Hall on September 29        written by a past donor (see left).                        I share the elements of life
and attended by families of donors, current             “We often don’t realise that our body is one of the
registrants and university staff and students. It was   most perfect computers ever built,” she said. “We             From these old bones,
led by Rev Wayne Crockford of the JCU                   can’t learn about it from text books and lectures
Chaplaincy Service and accompanied by a string          alone, we need to see it in 3D to appreciate how
                                                                                                                         These ligaments
quartet of medical students.                            all the complexities of the body integrate and work        My sinews and my nerves.
Twelve candles were lit in remembrance of the           so perfectly together.”
donors and then twelve balloons were released as        The JCU Human Bequest Program contributes to              May that life force that ran in
a sign of their ongoing contribution to medical         the teaching of the anatomical sciences to North
education and science.                                  Queensland’s future doctors, physiotherapists,                          me
                                                        occupational therapists, speech pathologists,
A/Prof Richard Murray, Head of Medicine and
                                                        nurses, pharmacists, sports scientists and
                                                                                                                      Shine forth once more
Dentistry, said: “This is a sombre but not
necessarily a sad occasion. Donation is an              research scientists                                              And pass to you
assertion of faith in the future and an investment in   A first year medical student
youth and the training of the next generation.          assured registrants and                                  The knowledge and the power
“We honour the generosity of donors and their           families of donors that the
                                                        generous donations were                                         That help sustain
families and the trust and faith they have put in the
university.”                                            greatly valued.                                                The miracle of life.”
A/Prof Claudia Diaz, Head of Anatomy and                “Your wonderful gift does not
Coordinator of the Bequest Program, said she had        go unappreciated. It is an
been overwhelmed by the hundred-plus people             irreplaceable         gift    of
who have shown an interest in the program this          knowledge that will help                                 From an anatomical gift donor
year alone.                                             shape us into highly-skilled
                                                        health professionals.”

Anyone for a BBQ?                                                “For small animal vets meat           Students ‘creamed’ by staff at trivia
                                                                 science is also very important as
An American meat scientist has                                   meat is a major food source for       It’s official, staff do have the upper hand when it comes to
spent the last few weeks taking                                  many of the animals they will         knowledge; as proved by the results of the Trivia Night
third year Vet students on a                                     treat, which directly affects their   held at the School on September 20.
journey from the paddock to the                                  health.”                              Twelve teams battled it out in seven rounds, including
plate.                                                           When        not     overseeing        sport, entertainment, ‘Who Am I’ and of course, science;
Associate Professor Henry Zerby                                  undergraduate studies at OSU’s        but it was ‘The Super Pees Pees’ who came out on top.
(pictured) is currently visiting                                 Department of Animal Science          The team, made up of P&P staff Suzy Munns, Anna-
Australia as part of a year-long                                 and delivering the meat science       Marie Babey, Shane Bullock, Lisa Chilton and Pam
sabbatical from his job at Ohio                                  component of the OSU Vet              Megaw, won dinner vouchers and wine for their efforts.
State University. He is based at                                 program, Henry is heavily             ‘The Fab Five and Damian’ came in second, after duelling
the University of New England in                                 involved in animal welfare. He is     it out Rock, Paper Scissors-style with ‘Ramrod’ to decide
Armidale, NSW, working with                                      a consultant for Wendy’s              a tie. The Wooden Spoon went to student team ‘No
beef and sheep CRCs on supply                                    undertaking audits of their           Comment’.
chain management, but has                                        products and animal welfare.          The win by a staff team meant that they got to ‘cream pie’
taken time out to impart his                                     And how do JCU Vet students           the students. Good on Emily Standen, Teal Mogford and
expert knowledge on the science of meat to        differ from Ohio State Vet students? “I have         Erin Finn for stepping up to the plate, so to speak.
North Queensland’s future veterinarians.          very much enjoyed working with these                 Congratulations to Donna Rudd’s son Joseph who came
“On hearing Henry would be on study leave in      students,” said Henry. “They ask really good         the closest to guessing the number of Jelly Beans in the
the area, I saw a unique opportunity for third    questions – a sign that they are really              jar with 1005 (there was 1003 after Jeff Warner ate
year students to be taught meat science by        engaged in the subject, which is my ultimate         some). He also drew himself out of the raffle to win movie
one of the best meat scientists in the world,”    goal. I still go by the rule that learning doesn’t   tickets.
said Head of School Prof Lee Fitzpatrick.         have to be painful; it can be fun. The more          Thanks to fourth year Med Lab Science students for
Henry has been speaking to the students           enjoyable I can make the experience the              organising the event, especially Simon Bombardieri for
about meat quality and how aspects like           more likely students will be interested.             taking on the unenviable role of Question Master.
nutrition and genetics can influence the final    “OSU also has similar demographics to this           The event raised more than $400 which will fund the
product in terms of tenderness, palatability      uni in the sense that 80% of our 500 Vet             MLS-BMS annual ball on October 11 at the Plaza Hotel.
and juiciness. They have also covered the         students are female. We also face similar            After the success of last year’s event, the theme will again
important issues of meat safety and product       preferences, with most students wanting to be        be ‘masquerade’, but this time the ticket price includes a
development, including value-added products       small animal vets – they have grown up with          formal dinner. Tickets cost $60 each and are available
such as salt.                                     pets, want to live in an urban area and are          from the Sherie in the Main Office.
The students even had the chance to make          attracted by the higher pay. It’s a constant
their own patties.                                challenge we face.”
“For those students interested in becoming        Henry has brought his wife and three
large animal vets it should become clear to       daughters with him for his year-long stay in
them that their mission is not only to keep the   the country, leaving postgraduate Vet
animal healthy in terms of welfare but also as    students looking after their sheep farm.
far as the safety of the end product is           “We’ve left it in good hands,” he said.
concerned,” said Henry.                           Henry returns to Armidale on October 8.

         If you have a good story, anecdote or upcoming information for the next School newsletter contact: Gemma Berry, Marketing and
                                   Communications Officer for the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
                                       Room: DB87-024; Extension: 4398; E-mail: gemma.berry@jcu.edu.au
  Volume 3 Issue 7                                                                                                                                                   Page 3

New emergency vet eager to sink his teeth in
For most, a good reason not to live in North             veterinary medicine,” he said. “He has boundless
Queensland is its venomous creatures;                    energy and a determination to get a good job
spiders, snakes, jellyfish, to name a few. But           done. I am quite certain he will work hard to help
for the School’s new Senior Lecturer in                  us equip, staff and (later) run an excellent
Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care it’s a            emergency/critical care service.”
major reason for coming to the region.                   Philip was born in the small town of Whakatane,
Dr Philip Judge joined us last month from                on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
emergency clinical practice in Melbourne.                He graduated from Massey’s vet school in 1991
“I love Australian poisonous animals and the             and then spent six years working in small animal
effects their toxins have on our patients,” he said.     practices in Wellington, Christchurch and
“Growing up in New Zealand was great - but we            Blenheim.
really miss out as veterinarians on some of the          “I became interested in veterinary emergency and
most spectacular toxins in the world over there.         critical care whilst working at a practice in
Australia, particularly North Queensland, has it all.”   Blenheim that saw a significant number of hunting
According to Philip, there is much to learn in the       dog injuries and poisonings with 1080,” he said. “I
field of toxinology – the study of animal venoms         found the management of these patients
and toxins – and he plans to undertake a doctorate       thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying – and the
study in the area.                                       experience prompted me to do further study in the
“Hopefully we can gain some useful insights into         area – hence my migration to Australia.”
the management of envenomation not only in               He undertook a residency in Veterinary
animals but also in the human field, given the huge      Emergency and Critical Care at the University of
impact envenomation has on the human                     Melbourne and has Membership of the Australian
population in the developing world,” he said.            College of Veterinary Scientists in both Veterinary
The majority of Philip’s teaching will be in the final   Emergency and Critical Care and Medicine of
two years of the Veterinary Science curriculum. He       Dogs.                                                   Dedication: Philip ventilating a Tiger snake bite victim, Christmas Day.

will also head up the Animal Emergency Centre in         Philip obtained a Master of Veterinary Studies in
                                                                                                                 Melbourne. He and his wife Charisma also
the new veterinary clinical teaching hospital, due       Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care from
                                                                                                                 launched veteducation.com.au, an online/distance-
to open at the end of the year.                          Melbourne in 2001 and for the next six years
                                                                                                                 learning veterinary education business that runs
“Staffing and equipping a brand-new emergency            worked at the Animal Emergency Centre (AEC) in
                                                                                                                 short online courses for veterinary nurses and live
facility for Townsville is an exceptional challenge      the city - at the time the largest 24-hour veterinary
                                                                                                                 online lectures for veterinarians, provided by some
that is really very exciting,” he said.                  emergency centre in Australia with a caseload of
                                                                                                                 of Australia’s top specialists.
“I also hope to bring enthusiasm and excitement          over 12,000 emergency cases per year.
                                                                                                                 “It has been incredibly satisfying to see
about veterinary emergencies to the students. So         “It was a fantastic place to learn and work - we had
                                                                                                                 veterinarians from all over Australia - especially in
many vets graduate terrified of emergency                three ventilators, computer-regulated IV infusion
                                                                                                                 rural and regional areas - log in for continuing
medicine because the animals are sick, the clients       pumps to deliver fluid support to over 70 patients
                                                                                                                 education opportunities that would previously only
are stressed and the teaching time has been              at any one time, and a complete range of
                                                                                                                 be available at conferences in major cities,” he
limited. I think this is a real shame, because           diagnostic, surgical and monitoring equipment,” he
emergency cases are some of the most satisfying          said. “I became the senior veterinarian at the AEC
                                                         in 2004 and established a formal training program       “We have even had veterinarians and nurses from
and rewarding cases we can manage. I love                                                                        Brazil, the UK, US and South-East Asia joining us
emergency medicine and I want everyone else to           at the facility for both veterinary nurses and
                                                         veterinarians.”                                         as well - giving us a great opportunity to learn from
love it too.”                                                                                                    veterinarian experiences otherwise not directly
A/Prof Richard Squires, Head of Veterinary               In late 2006, Philip undertook a 12-month surgical
                                                                                                                 accessible to us.”
Clinical Sciences, is looking forward to working         externship with a specialist surgeon at a private
                                                         referral centre, where he trained in neurosurgery,      When there’s time for play, Philip can usually be
with Philip in the new hospital.                                                                                 found outside. “I am a mad sea kayaker – do crocs
“I’ve known Philip for 12 years and liked him from       surgical oncology and was Head of Critical Care at
                                                         the centre.                                             like plastic kayaks up here? – and like running,
the beginning. He burns quietly (and modestly)                                                                   bush walking and mountaineering. I also love
with white hot enthusiasm for his chosen areas of        Since late last year, he has been a senior
                                                                                                                 playing the saxophone.”
                                                         veterinarian at a new emergency centre in

Janice mingles with welfare colleagues                                              Last research seminar for 2008
Dr Janice Lloyd attended the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy’s          Visiting meat scientist A/Prof Henry Zerby and Dr
international conference on the Gold Coast last month. “It was an excellentJanice Lloyd gave research seminars last month.
conference and met its goal of bringing together people from across the    Henry discussed the value of meat science and
world to discuss and learn about the latest thinking in animal welfare,” said
                                                                           Janice about the relationship between guide dogs
Janice. “As a relative newcomer, it was great for me to meet others in the and their owners.
field and I have returned laden with information that will be useful for teaching
                                                                           The next seminar, entitled ‘Curse of the Labrador Duck’, will take place on
and research.”                                                             October 31. Dr Glen Chilton (pictured), partner of Lisa, the School’s new
                                                                           physiologist, is Professor Emeritus at St Mary's University College in Calgary,
Postgrad students move on                                                  Canada, and newly appointed Adjunct Senior Lecturer at JCU. He is an
                                                                           ornithologist and behavioural ecologist. The presentation will tell of the extinct
A number of postgraduate students have recently finished their Masters
projects and returned home. We have bid farewell to Malaysian Fuziah Labrador Duck, a story of adventure and intrigue, smuggling and murder.
Muhayat, Americans James Bishop and Thomas Oguin and Indian Jaishree
Bhojwani. Indonesian Desniwaty Karo Karo, who has also finished up her Careers night for Med Lab students
Masters project on avian influenza, has also returned home but, subject to Med Lab Science students had the chance to speak to pathologists at the
funding, hopes to return in the New Year for a PhD.                        event. “It was great to see all areas of pathology represented, including the
                                                                           adventures available to us in the NT,” said fourth year Emily Standen.
Go Chris!
Chris Coleman will travel to Perth on October 3 with partner Sandy and It’s a boy!
horses Uni and Pencil to represent Queensland in the National Polocrosse Trish Gorbal gave birth to her second child on
Championships on October 13–19. Good luck Chris.                         September 30. Bryce John was born at 10.27am
                                                                         weighing in at 8lbs. Congratulations to Trish and
Linda takes on purchasing                                                David on their new arrival.
Linda McDonald joined us last month as Acting-Purchasing Officer, from
JCU’s Financial and Business Services. Born and bred in Townsville she has          Horse specialist joins us
         spent the last ten years coming back and forth to JCU. She spent a                   Dr Rachel Tan, Senior Lecturer in Large Animal Medicine, arrived
         few years living in Vancouver, Canada, before settling back into life                at the School last month. Tune in to the next issue for more details.
         in Townsville. “This time I’m back permanently,” she said. Linda is                  Rachel is currently based in DB87-208 with Philip Judge. Both will
         with us until Kylie Bannister returns in February.                                   move over to the new vet hospital on its completion.
                            Page 4                                                                                              Across the Creek

The School of                             From the back of the crush
Veterinary and                                   Official column of the JCU Veterinary Students’ Association
   Biomedical             The month of September has most
                          certainly been one of the highlights of
                                                                         sticking it out with an injured foot!
                                                                         There were smashing tackles, mighty
     Sciences             the Vet student calendar. As the first
                          years approach the end of their
                                                                         passes, lethal dodges and 'run-like-
                                                                         you-stole-it' sprints to the try line
                          primary year and the third years begin         throughout the games. The boys were
                          to see the light at the end of the tunnel,     supported by a huge turn-out of Vet
     1 Solander Drive     the social escapades of the renowned           kids and friends, some of which had
                          'vet kids' have been in full swing.            some pretty fantastic war cries (ask for
James Cook University     The first round of the Inter-Faculty           the new version of Baa Baa Black
    Douglas Campus        Rugby 10s tournament kicked off with           Sheep from Lauren Clark and Roxanne
           Townsville     gusto. The mighty Vet Rams have                Fraser). A massive thankyou to all the
                          been training for weeks; it seemed just        supporters, but recognition must be
           QLD 4811       about every bloke in Vet put his hand          given to John Hosie who co-ordinated
            Australia     up to run out onto the footy field (and        the event smoothly and led our boys to
                          some girls too). The first game was a          victory. Thankyou also to Esala Teleni       did a great job and kept us all
Tel: +61 (0)7 4781 4278   huge success, with the Vet Rams                for his training advice, to Justin and       entertained. VSA President Harry
                          dominating the field against the School        Charles for running water, to Scott          Markwell must also be commended for
Fax: +61 (0)7 4779 1526   of Business. Special mention must go           Cullen for bringing down our mascot,         his effort toward the night, as must the
                          to Lachlan Perkins for his death-              Ernie the ram, and to everyone else          rest of the VSA, who all put in a
                          defying runs and to Jeremiah                   that helped out on the night. The next       tremendous effort to make sure it was
                          McGowan who ploughed through the               game will take place on October 9 on         a success. Best Mask went to the
                          opposition like a steam train to score.        the Main Oval.                               ingenious Phil Pearson (pictured) who
                          The second game was also a close               This epic night was followed by the          went all out, Best Dressed Gentlemen
                          match and while we didn't come away            most prestigious event of the year: The      went to Josh Berryman and Best
                          with the upper hand against the School         PROVET Masquerade Veterinary                 Dressed Lady went to Susie Bolte.
                          of Education, the boys put in an               Science Ball - and what a night it was!      With live entertainment and good
                          awesome effort - good on you Cozy for          Girls and boys in their finery, displayed    spirits, the night was a hit and one to
                                                                         their creative masks, danced up a            be rivalled in years to come.
                                                                         storm and had a few refreshing
                                                                         beverages along the way - we partied
                                                                         as only Vet kids can.                        Kylie
                                                                         Thanks to Henry Zerby for entertaining
                                                                         us with a motivating speech. The MCs         Kylie Francis
                                                                         of the night, second years Roobiny           VSA Sports Coordinator
                                                                         Sivananthan and Meghan Stephenson,

                          Meet...Sherie Everingham
                          Give a brief description of who you            new in the business industry. I then got
                          are, what you do and where you’ve              the position here at VBMS to cover for
                          come from.                                     Trish Gorbal while she was Acting-
                          I was born in Townsville and lived here        Purchasing Officer.
                          until I was twelve, I moved to
                          Bundaberg with my Dad where I                  What is the most satisfying aspect
                          completed Grade 8 to 12. After high            of your job?
                          school I went to Tafe to get a                 I’m really enjoying all areas. There is a
                          Certificate III in Childcare. I then           lot of variation in this job, it’s so much
                          moved out of home and returned to              more then just administration. I get to
                          Townsville to start my own life. Eight         meet lots of different people from all
                          months later I moved into a flat with a        walks of life and get to experience the
                          friend, where I met Doug and his dog           respective industries associated with
                          Dakota who lived next door. Now we’re          the School. It is so different to what I
                          engaged and planning to get married            was doing before.
                          in 2010.
                          I am currently employed at the School          What are your ambitions?
                          as an Administration Assistant. I work         To continue on this career path. I
                          in the Main Office doing general               would like to stay working for this          me and given me the best upbringing. I
                          administration duties such as, printing,       School and eventually progress to            try to make him proud and to thank him
                          photocopying, binding and filing. I also       other positions. I also want to complete     for all he has done for me. He is
                          keep track of Workflow claims, process         some training or study to better myself      someone I look up to.
                          appointment forms, purchase                    within the business industry.
                          requisitions and any pathology                                                       What is the best advice you have
                                                                         As for life in general, I look forward to
                          samples that come in. I deliver mail on                                              been given?
                                                                         getting married; travelling to some nice
                          campus, order stock for the stationary                                               A wise saying my great grandfather
                                                                         places for holidays and seeing a bit of
                          cabinet and keep records of pathology          the world; buying a home and having   used to say to my dad, who then
                          invoices.                                      children one day. And no debt would   passed it down to me is, ‘I used to cry
                                                                         be nice.                              because I had no shoes, until I met a
                          What jobs have you had before                                                        man who had no feet.’
                          coming to JCU?                                 Who has been the most significant Also, ‘The best way to succeed in life is
                          My first job was at Target as a                influence on your career/life and to act on the advice we give to others.’
                          checkout operator and I worked in a            why?
                          childcare centre as a full time assistant      My dad has been the most influential If you weren’t in this job, what
                          for two years. I worked at a coffee            person in my life. He has had to make would you be doing?
                          shop for a little while until I started with   tough choices and I’m proud of what I would probably be in a childcare
                          a new childcare centre. After working          paths he has chosen and the centre studying to be a group leader.
                          there for almost two years I decided to        accomplishments he has achieved for But if I could be anything, I would
                          expand my skills and try something             himself. He has always been there for become a primary school teacher.

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