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scientific numbers +ciftbx2.6.2

I was trying to read some numbers using numb_('',val,sig) in ciftbx-2.6.2 and 
struck a glitch with numbers in the format  0.319E+01 
Namely numb_() returns false.
Replacing the value with  3.19 all works fine. 

Quoting from section 1.2 page 2 of the Ciftbx primer plus
"A number string may be an integer, decimal or scientific notation"

I beleive numbers such as "0.127E-21" are in scientific notation, so I am
wondering is this a CIF syntax issue, a ciftbx issue , or just 
misunderstanding on my part.
Obviously I would prefer not to have to reformat these values if I 
can avoid it. 

thanks in advance for any guidance.

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