Archive | September 2014

A Common Misconception of Stem Cell Research

Bhaskar Chanda Stem CellThere are many misconceptions surrounding stem cell research and procedures in the United States.  Where the endeavor is widely approved of in European countries, the United States continues to remain wary, based in the assumption that embryonic stem cells required for the method of therapy come from aborted fetuses.  This assumption is actually completely incorrect, as the cells come are extracted from fatty tissue in the stomach.

According to an article recently completed by the Chicago Tribune, Julia Szabo, author of the book Medicine Dog: The Miraculous Cure that Healed My Best Friend and Saved My Life, this misconception is causing a lot of people to miss out on the opportunity to heal some of their more challenging afflictions.  In her case, stem cell therapy healed not only her own struggles with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but her dog’s issues with arthritic joints.  In the novel, she details the procedure her dog Sam underwent as a means of definitively declaring that the stem cells do not come from aborted fetuses.  Under anesthesia, Sam underwent liposuction—essentially a basic “tummy tuck,” in which the fatty tissue of the stomach was extracted.  The tissue was then sent to Vet-Stem, a company that provides regenerative stem cell therapy for animals, which Szabo found through a simple search of the Internet.  Vet-Stem then processed the tissue in centrifuge, separating the stem cells from the fat.  The cells are placed in vials and delivered to the veterinarian on dry ice.  From there, the cells are introduced to the animal’s system through two methods—direct injection into pet’s arthritic joints and intravenously into the bloodstream.

After the procedure, Szabo saw notable improvement in the dog’s ability to travel within hours.  Within weeks the dog was completely healed.  Szabo decided to pursue the procedure herself after a particularly bad event involving her Irritable Bowel Syndrome landed her in the emergency room.  A Vet-Stem authority she had worked with on her dog’s cased suggested the therapy for her ailment as well, referring her to the California Stem Cell Treatment Center in the process.  Now Szabo is able to live an entirely normal life, free of her IBS.

The therapy comes at a hefty price, however.  The pet’s procedure cost Szabo over two thousand five hundred dollars; her own stem cell therapy cost around nine thousand dollars.  The rates are high, as insurances do not cover the procedure—it is FDA compliant, but not FDA approved.

 

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Special Edition: TV Show Review of “The League”

Bhaskar Chanda Movie ReviewsThe National Football League has finally made its long awaited return and our Sunday schedules are officially booked up. With the return of the NFL regular season inevitably comes Fantasy Football. It is hard to deny Fantasy Football’s powerful presence in American culture right now. Once you have experienced a Fantasy League with close friends, it is easy to see why its popularity has grown to such heights.

The popular TV show The League just began its sixth season, and has garnered a strong following throughout the country. Why? Creators Jeff Schaffer and Jackie Marcus have tapped into America’s newfound obsession, and turned it into an exaggerated depiction of life hijacked by Fantasy Football. The League explores the lives of a group of friends who obsessively compete over fantasy football, all while mercilessly ridiculing each other.

I was drawn to this show by frequent recommendations and finally decided to give it a chance. Looking for strong plot lines and phenomenal acting performances? The League is probably not for you, and you may want to consider Orange is the New Black. Like many, I assumed prior knowledge of NFL players and fantasy football was a necessity, but the show quickly navigates that expectation by rooting the stories in the daily lives of friends to which anyone can relate. Of course, knowing the game and it’s players, who make frequent cameos, will only heighten your experience.

If you want a show that will make you laugh and remind you it is okay to goof around now and then despite living as a responsible adult, then The League just might be for you. Your expectations may dictate whether you find it enjoyable and funny, or just completely tasteless and stupid. Lacking political correctness nor concern for hurting feelings, The League has one goal – to make you laugh. The League draws you in with its charismatic cast and strong onscreen chemistry. Call it crass, mindless, bro humor, but there is no doubt these characters will make you laugh. It may not be your particular tastes, but something is to be said for a comedy that is in its 6th season. 4/5 Stars

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Top Five Best Adventure Activities in India

Bhaskar Chanda India Montain Climbing

As promised the greatest adventure activities in India list continues. Last month, we had numbers 10 through 6 and this month, we have the top five best adventure activities for tourists to experience in India. As long as they are the adventure type. Just to go over what we had on the list for last month, we had heli skiing, mountain biking, hot air ballooning, camel and yak safaris, and the infamous auto rickshaw rampaging.

Continuing from last blog post, at number 5 we have motorcycle touring. India has a vast countryside, and one of the more fun ways to adventure through the countryside is via motorcycle. There is a sense of freedom and adventure that is not accessible through other forms of transportation. These motorbike tours are offered all over the Himalaya region, in south India, and Rajasthan.

In the fourth place spot, we have water sports. The typical water sport activities found in India range from para sailing to jet skiing, to windsurfing, to banana boat rides, to kite surfing. These water sport activities are offered everywhere on Goa’s beaches.

Next on the list is paragliding. The closest activity there is to the sensation of human flight is paragliding. There are many reputable companies in India that offer paragliding adventures. The best places for paragliding in India is in the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Another popular area for paragliding is Kamshet in Maharashtra.

Coming in at number two is white water rafting and kayaking. White water rafting in India combines beautiful scenery with thrills and chills for the outdoorsy type. Rafting down the Ganges and spending the night on pristine beaches is a very popular activity for tourists traveling to India.

Number one on the list of best aventure activities in India is…drumroll please…trekking and mountaineering. Mountain climbing in India’s northern wilderness is a very popular activity for trekkers. Climbs range from the easiest yet spectacularly beautiful walks to more extreme difficult camping expeditions. The Himalayas are the obvious choice for these expeditions.

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