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Organoids and specifically human cerebral organoids (HCOs) are one of the most relevant novelties in the field of biomedical research. Grown either from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells, HCOs can be used as in vitro three-dimensional models, mimicking the developmental process and organization of the developing human brain. Based on that, and despite their current limitations, it cannot be assumed that they will never at any stage of development manifest some rudimentary form of consciousness. In the absence of behavioral indicators of consciousness, the theoretical neurobiology of consciousness being applied to unresponsive brain-injured patients can be considered with respect to HCOs. In clinical neurology, it is difficult to discern a capacity for consciousness in unresponsive brain-injured patients who provide no behavioral indicators of consciousness. In such scenarios, a validated neurobiological theory of consciousness, which tells us what the neural mechanisms of consciousness are, could be used to identify a capacity for consciousness. Like the unresponsive patients that provide a diagnostic difficulty for neurologists, HCOs provide no behavioral indicators of consciousness. Therefore, this article discusses how three prominent neurobiological theories of consciousness apply to human cerebral organoids. From the perspective of the Temporal Circuit Hypothesis, the Global Neuronal Workspace Theory, and the Integrated Information Theory, we discuss what neuronal structures and functions might indicate that cerebral organoids have a neurobiological capacity to be conscious.
During dreaming, as well as during wakefulness, elaborative encoding, indexing and ancient art of memory (AAOM) techniques, such as the method of loci, may coincide with emotion regulation. These techniques shed light on the link between dreaming and emotional catharsis, post-traumatic stress disorder, supermemorization during sleep as opposed to wakefulness, and the developmental role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in children.
Climate, diet, lifestyle, and environmental settings have all been shown to modulate mood, play a role in mental disorders, and even pose a mental health risk. Can climatotherapy, in its adaptive approach aiming to restore balance among the economic, social, and ecological realms of human societies, situate itself as a therapeutic avenue for the promotion of sustainable mental health?
Individually packaged sterile supply items may become contaminated and act as vectors for nosocomial transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). Thus, many hospitals have a policy to dispose of these unused, packaged supply items at patient discharge from the hospital, which has considerable cost implications. We evaluated the frequency of contamination of these items, the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) in disinfecting them, and costs associated with discarded supplies.
A pilot study was performed in the rooms of 20 patients known to be colonized or infected with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and a follow-up study was performed in an additional 20 rooms of patients under precautions for various MDROs in 6 high-risk units. Five pairs of supply items were selected. One item of each pair was sampled without exposure to HPV, and the other was sampled after HPV exposure. The cost of discarded supplies was calculated by examining stock lists of supplies stored on the study units.
Seven (7%) of 100 items were contaminated with VRE in the pilot study, and 9 (9%) of 100 items were contaminated with MDROs in the follow-up study. None of the items were contaminated after exposure to HPV (P < .02 in both the pilot and the follow-up study). The annual cost of supplies discarded at patient hospital discharge was $387,055. This figure does not include the cost of waste disposal and is therefore likely to be an underestimation of the financial burden.
HPV effectively disinfected the packaging of supply items, which could generate considerable financial and environmental benefits.
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