Science of Umbilical cord blood banking

The saved stem cells can be used in the treatment of new born, his/her siblings and even parents

This is a must read for Expectant parents. One must know all about umbilical cord blood and their advantages and disadvantages, before heading to cord blood bank. One should be aware of the truth that  the odds that a child will ever use his or her own stored cord blood are small.  Also currently, it is unknown how long umbilical cord blood will maintain its usefulness while frozen, some says 15, some says 20, some says lifelong.  The potential benefits and limitations of allogeneic (from different individual) and autologous (same individual) cord blood banking and transplantation should be known. Even then, storing umbilical cord blood is definitely a good option, but whether one should opt for public or private bank, the decision must be taken after understanding the pros and cons of UCB (Umbilical Cord Blood) and understanding the science around it.

Advantages:

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Do you Remember Dolly ?. Not Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton 

Dolly the sheep, made from breast cells, was famously named after Dolly Parton, the American singer known for her large chest as well as her voice.  Dolly was the first example of successful cloning of a mammal from an adult cell.

Life of Dolly:

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Vaccines: Read this before you head to your doctor for next shot

Vaccines have contributed to a significant reduction in many childhood infectious diseases

Vaccines have been a great life saver. It’s been around from the time Edward Jenner demonstrated in 1798 that we could prevent smallpox in humans through vaccination.  The number of disease cases starts to drop when a vaccine is launched. Vaccines have contributed to a significant reduction in many childhood infectious diseases, such as diphtheria, measles, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Smallpox has been eradicated from many countries through vaccination. Vaccines definitely are the most effective tool we have to prevent infectious diseases.

But then, vaccine production is a big industry in itself.  80% of global vaccine sales come from five large multi-national corporations. The global vaccines market is expected to reach USD 48.03 Billion by 2021 according to MarketsandMarkets. Newer and newer vaccines are coming into the market every year. There are at least 30 causative agents against which vaccines are available and many more agents are targeted for development of vaccines. The number of shots a baby has to take has increased over the years. New optional vaccines have also entered the Indian market. If we go for all the shots it will add up to 49 doses of 14 vaccines.

The question we need to ask ourselves is do we need all of it, what will happen if we opt out of some, are all vaccines safe, do we know enough about them or we just go by what doctors say, are we aware of anti-vaccination activists.

How many of you have read Vaccine Package Insert

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It’s Cheese all the way….Cheese Science, Story and Snooping

A person who loves cheese or a cheese lover is called ‘turophile’

Cheese is a common food and have found its way into our kitchen at breakfast as cheese slice, cheese omelets; during lunch and dinner as salad ingredient, in pasta, pizza, burger, dosa and more and even in delicious cheese cakes, biscuits,… list is endless.

But did you know that there are 2000 varieties of cheese, Are you aware of the fact that some banks take cheese as collateral against loans or Have of heard of cheese made of Breast milk and Moose milk, Do you know how Swiss cheese gets holes or why we pair wine with cheese….

A lot of cheese facts and Cheese science….

Cheese is milk’s leap toward immortality – Clifton Fadiman

Cheese facts:

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Former US President Barack Obama have nine different creatures named after him !

Former US President Barack Obama

Barack Obama left the white house on 20th of Jan 2017. He finished his presidential tenure and is headed on his new journey to becomeCitizen Barack Obama. He may or may not have roles in politics, but his name will live forever. The scientific community have immortalized him by giving his name to nine different creatures from extinct lizards to trapdoor spiders. Obama is going to keep the record of having most animal species named after him among US presidents followed by Theodore Roosevelt with seven. Now President Donald Trump has an extinct sea urchin and scaly headed moth named after himTetragramma donaldtrumpi and Neopalpa donaldtrumpi respectively. Sirindhorn, the princess of Thailand, has the most species named after her of any political leader, with thirteen. Lady Gaga has a whooping 19 species of fern named after her.

 

Nine different creatures that have been named after Barack Obama

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Boat clinic – “a ship of hope in a valley of flood”

Boat clinic in Assam

There are about 2,400 small and medium island villages in Assam on the Brahmaputra inhabited by a population of about 3 million. They are locally called chars or saporisas in Assam. They represent 8 percent of the total population of the state of 30 million.  Every year the big and mighty Brahmaputra river floods.  Lacs of people get displaced and extensive property, crops and livestocks are destroyed. Health problems become acute. Many get affected by water-borne diseases. A major problem for these people is access to medicines and sustained health care.

Sanjoy Hazarika, director, Center for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES).

The boat clinic is the brainchild of Sanjoy Hazarika, director, Center for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES). It was while working on a documentary film in Assam in 1996, that Hazarika heard of a pregnant woman dying on a sapori, trying to reach a medical facility. By 2004, Hazarika, a former New York Times reporter came up with the idea of a ‘boat clinic’— that would take doctors and basic healthcare to these areas. He presented this idea to world bank and won the innovation prize (called Akha or hope) in the year 2005.

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Why people like action movies: Some science to it

Image

Action movie have been always a safe bet for movie producers, though the budget involved in making a perfect one is too high keeping in mind they have to burn several trucks and collapse many buildings. Action films is all about larger than life visions. When we watch action movies, we expect a spectacular display of events. Filmmakers have developed an armory of cinematic devices  like slow-motion, continuity editing, close-up to direct viewers minds to the screen during movie watching.

Though people say they watch movie to relax, the real fact is brain is very alert and active throughout the entire three hours. The truth is our brain processes most of the stimuli from a movie the way it would process it in real life.

“You know there is nothing up there on the screen that can touch you or hurt you or pull you out of your chair but we react as if they can,” Washington University psychology professor Jeff Zacks

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Roast potatoes ‘a potential cancer risk’

Acrylamide is found mainly in plant foods, such as potato products

Potatoes  and Acrylamide

Acrylamide is a chemical used primarily as a building block in making polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers. They have proven without doubt to be causing cancer in animal models. Scientist believe that the case is not going to be different in humans. The evidence from human studies is not complete.

Researchers in Europe and the United States have found acrylamide in certain foods that were heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius, but not in foods prepared below this temperature . Potato chips and French fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide compared with other foods.

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Ice Cream and Science

Good quality ice creams contain more fat and less infused air, making for a denser, richer ice cream

 

Everyone loves to eat ice cream. Its smooth texture, sweet taste and rich flavor makes it a perfect dessert.

Did you know that chemistry plays a great deal in making the ice cream perfect ?

Know the science of making ice cream to make the perfect one

Why ice cream floats in an ice cream soda ?

Ice cream has a lot of ice crystals that float, a lot of fat which floats and a lot of air which for sure floats. Those ingredients all together make ice cream a great floater!

If you refreeze melted ice cream, why is it never as good as it was before?

The liquid ice cream fills up the air pockets, when the ice cream melts. But when it refreezes, there are fewer air pockets and as a result ice cream is less airy and fluffy. The other reason is that when the ice cream melts, the original tiny ice crystals melts off. Refreezing the ice cream makes larger ice crystals which makes the ice cream too crunchy.

Why ice cream tastes overly sweet at room temperature ?

Cold tends to numb the taste buds, because of which they become less sensitive. So more sugar needs to be added to produce the desired effect at the low temperatures in which ice cream is usually served. Hence when you taste ice cream at room temperature it will taste overly sweet.

Why we get head ache while eating ice cream?

It is a kind of short-term headache typically linked to the rapid consumption of ice-cream, ice pops, or very cold drinks. It is also known as Brain freeze. Sensation of brain freeze is caused by a dramatic and sudden increase in blood flow through the brain’s anterior cerebral artery. As soon as the artery comes to normal, the brain-freeze pain sensation goes off.

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Food we eat can contribute towards Climate Change

carbon ‘Foodprint’

Food’s carbon footprint, or Foodprint, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat. How the food is grown or raised and how the food is cooked –both contribute to the carbon footprint.

How Carbon emission is mapped to food?

To understand how carbon emissions is linked to food production, we have to look into all those processes that help in bringing  food from the field to our plates:

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