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Solanas E.,Aragon Health Research Institute IIS Aragon | Solanas E.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Solanas E.,CIBER ISCIII | Sostres C.,Aragon Health Research Institute IIS Aragon | And 10 more authors.
Cells Tissues Organs

The availability of fully functional human hepatocytes is critical for progress in human hepatocyte transplantation and the development of bioartificial livers and in vitro liver systems. However, the cell isolation process impairs the hepatocyte status and determines the number of viable cells that can be obtained. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of using dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and melatonin in the human hepatocyte isolation protocol. Human hepatocytes were isolated from liver pieces resected from 10 patients undergoing partial hepatectomy. Each piece was dissected into 2 equally sized pieces and randomized, in 5 of 10 isolations, to perfusion with 1% DMSO-containing perfusion buffer or buffer also containing 5 m M melatonin using the 2-step collagenase perfusion technique (experiment 1), and in the other 5 isolations to standard perfusion or perfusion including 1% DMSO (experiment 2). Tissues perfused with DMSO yield- ed 70.6% more viable hepatocytes per gram of tissue (p = 0.076), with a 26.1% greater albumin production (p < 0.05) than those perfused with control buffer. Melatonin did not significantly affect (p> 0.05) any of the studied parameters, but cell viability, dehydrogenase activity, albumin production, urea secretion, and 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase activity were slightly higher in cells isolated with melatonincontaining perfusion buffer compared to those isolated with DMSO. In conclusion, addition of 1% DMSO to the hepatocyte isolation protocol could improve the availability and functionality of hepatocytes for transplantation, but further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms involved. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

Navarro J.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Navarro J.,Aragon Health Research Institute IIS Aragon | Del Moral R.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Del Moral R.,Aragon Health Research Institute IIS Aragon | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders

Background In the medical field, laughter has been studied for its beneficial effects on health and as a therapeutic method to prevent and treat major medical diseases. However, very few works, if any, have explored the predictive potential of laughter and its potential use as a diagnostic tool. Method We registered laughs of depressed patients (n=30) and healthy controls (n=20), in total 934 laughs (517 from patients and 417 from controls). All patients were tested by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). The processing was made in Matlab, with calculation of 8 variables per laugh plosive. General and discriminant analysis distinguished patients, controls, gender, and the association between laughter and HDRS test. Results Depressed patients and healthy controls differed significantly on the type of laughter, with 88% efficacy. According to the Hamilton scale, 85.47% of the samples were correctly classified in males, and 66.17% in women, suggesting a tight relationship between laughter and the depressed condition. Limitations (i) The compilation of humorous videos created to evoke laughter implied quite variable chances of laughter production. (ii) Some laughing subjects might not feel comfortable when recording. (iii) Evaluation of laughter episodes depended on personal inspection of the records. (iv) Sample size was relatively small and may not be representative of the general population afflicted by depression. Conclusions Laughter may be applied as a diagnostic tool in the onset and evolution of depression and, potentially, of neuropsychiatric pathologies. The sound structures of laughter reveal the underlying emotional and mood states in interpersonal relationships. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Navarro J.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Navarro J.,Aragon Health Research Institute IIS Aragon | Del Moral R.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Del Moral R.,Aragon Health Research Institute IIS Aragon | And 4 more authors.

Laughter is increasingly present in biomedical literature, both in analytical neurological aspects and in applied therapeutic fields. The present paper, bridging between the analytical and the applied, explores the potential of a relevant variable of laughter's acoustic signature-entropy-in the detection of a widespread mental disorder, depression, as well as in gauging the severity of its diagnostic. In laughter, the Shannon-Wiener entropy of the distribution of sound frequencies, which is one of the key features distinguishing its acoustic signal from the utterances of spoken language, has not been a specific focus of research yet, although the studies of human language and of animal communication have pointed out that entropy is a very important factor regarding the vocal/acoustic expression of emotions. As the experimental survey of laughter in depression herein undertaken shows, it was possible to discriminate between patients and controls with an 82.1% accuracy just by using laughter's entropy and by applying the decision tree procedure. These experimental results, discussed in the light of the current research on laughter, point to the relevance of entropy in the spontaneous bona fide extroversion of mental states toward other individuals, as the signal of laughter seems to imply. This is in line with recent theoretical approaches that rely on the optimization of a neuro-informational free energy (and associated entropy) as the main "stuff" of brain processing. © 2015 by the authors. Source

del Moral R.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Navarro J.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Marijuan P.C.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to advocate a change of perspective in the development of information science. At stake is whether this science will be able to make sense of both the astounding new practices in the world of knowledge and the even more astounding social transformations that revolve around information technologies. Tentatively a new way of thinking could be articulated along the guidelines herein discussed. An initial and important aspect concerns the definition of information itself. Rather than continuing with the endless discussions on what is information, it will be proposed, first, that information is indefinable per se; and second, that a consensus notion(s) might be established on how information should be handled in the core fields – or at least in the analysis of some prototypical “informational entities”. Design/methodology/approach – The research strategy proposed, naturalistic and empirically oriented, is based on the intertwining of self-production and communication flows as fundamental characteristics of informational entities – about “being in the world” in the informational way. Living cells, organisms (nervous systems), individuals, enterprises-markets, and societies would manifest these characteristics. In all of these existential realms, it is the collective action of communicating, self-producing agents or entities (“informational” ones, for short), connected in multiple, flexible ways, what makes possible the unfathomable complexity and adaptability emerging at all functional scales. Findings – Along this new perspective, meaning, knowledge, and intelligence may be approached rather consistently. The new conceptualizations may also be linked with the information revolution and the extraordinary expansion of knowledge in the times; a parallel with the knowledge-fundamentals of biological complexity will be suggested. Originality/value – Among the many problems to tackle for a renewed information science, a relevant matter concerns the way to organize the dialogue among so many different disciplinary perspectives dealing with information: it becomes an open question, indeed. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Source

Del Moral R.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Navarro J.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS | Marijuan P.C.,Aragon Institute of Health science IACS
Information (Switzerland)

The extraordinary scientific-technical, economic, and social transformations related to the widespread use of computers and to the whole information and communication technologies have not been accompanied by the development of a scientific "informational" perspective helping make a coherent sense of the spectacular changes occurring. Like in other industrial revolutions of the past, technical praxis antedates the emergence of theoretical disciplines. Apart from the difficulties in handling new empirical domains and in framing new ways of thinking, the case of information science implies the difficult re-evaluation of important bodies of knowledge already well accommodated in specific disciplines. Herein, we will discuss how a new understanding of the "natural information flows" as they prototypically occur in living beings-even in the simplest cells-could provide a sound basis for reappraising fundamental problems of the new science. The role of a renewed information science, multidisciplinarily conceived and empirically grounded, widely transcends the limited "library" and knowledge-repositories mission into which classical information science was cajoled during past decades. Paraphrasing the Spanish philosopher J. Ortega y Gasset, the overhaul of information science itself becomes "the challenge of our time". © 2014 by the authors. Source

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