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Friday, August 27, 2010

Tooth Regeneration Gel Brings New Technological Breakthrough For Painless Fillings

Who likes visiting the dentist? Every appointment with the dentist is associated with painful visions of the dental drill which is probably the most feared instrument in the dental clinic -- next to the “injection." The recent discovery of a new tooth regeneration gel, which encourages the regeneration of a tooth, could lead to the dentists hanging up their drills and replacing painful fillings with painless fillings.

Scientists in France conducted studies on a new biomaterial that showed the capacity to regenerate bone. They also found that it could be used as a gel and inserted into tooth cavities to encourage tooth regeneration, therefore avoiding the need to drill and fill them. They successfully tested this on cell cultures and laboratory mice which has opened up the prospects for painless fillings with the help of this tooth regeneration gel.

Dental DrillAccording to their study, the new peptide, embedded in a gel or thin flexible film when placed next to a cavity encouraged the cells inside s tooth to regenerate in about a month's time. This study is the work of Dr. Nadia Benkirane-Jessel, a scientist at the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) Faculty of Medicine in Strasbourg, France and the technology is the first of its kind that was published online in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano on 27 May.

Dental Drill Will No Longer Be Feared

So far, dentists have been treating and saving millions of decayed tooth cavities by drilling, filling and performing root canal therapies with a high rate of success. But it would definitely be better if the decayed and diseased portions of the teeth could be removed and replaced with a material that would encourage regeneration of the pulp, thus retaining the vitality of the tooth. This technology is indeed a great breakthrough for the dental community and patients at large.

The Study

The biomaterial being studied is a peptide called MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone) and the version that is being used is called PGA-a-MSH, which is a chemical combination of poly-l-glutamic acid (PGL) and alpha-MSH. The researchers tested this new peptide on cultures of human dental pulp fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen) and found it to have "potential effects in promoting human pulp fibroblast adhesion and cell proliferation."

“Benkirane-Jessel stated that the purpose of the gel would be to control cavities after they develop. It was not like toothpaste, so people would still need to keep brushing and flossing to prevent the cavities in the first place," reported Discovery News.

“Treating cavities without drilling would have its advantages," said Hom-Lay Wang, a dentist at the University of Michigan. “Cavities and drilling can destroy the nerves and blood vessels inside a tooth, making it more brittle and likely to fracture. Regenerating a tooth could help avoid crowns after a cavity has been filled.”

The researchers concluded that, "by using PGA-a-MSH, we increase not only the viability of cells but also the proliferation."

When they did a nanoscale examination of the new tissue using atomic force microscopy, they found an increase in the thickness and roughness of its structure that was consistent with an "increase of the proliferation of the cells growing on the surface of these architectures."

"We report here the first use of nanostructured and functionalized multilayered films containing a-MSH as a new active biomaterial for endodontic regeneration," they added.

Benkirane-Jessel also said they tested the new film on mouse tooth cavities, and that within a month, the cavities had disappeared, reported Discovery News. However, numerous clinical trials still need to be conducted that may take several years to be completed before the MSH-containing gels or films is available to treat cavities in humans.

Also, researchers reiterated that the new peptide gel would work only for small number of cases, so most cavities would still need to be drilled and filled. But, patients can rejoice, for this study and technology brings in a new hope that there may come a time when the dental drill becomes a thing of the past, and a simple dab of the painless gel would heal cavities.

Source: Discovery News

Original article posted on Xomba

Mumbai Rains - Traffic Woes

What happens when it rains in Mumbai? Roads get filled with water, slowing down the traffic. Take a look at these pictures that speak for themselves.

Busy traffic junction flooded with water during the rains.

Mumbai Rains
Rains in Mumbai floods roads
Traffic junction flooded due to rains
Traffic still flowing smoothly like the water on the roads at this junction!
Fascinating site isn't it? The best part is that the traffic at this particular junction just never stops or gets jammed due to any reason. It flows smoothly, without any help from the traffic cops or the traffic lights. Well, rains in Mumbai have always known to bring a whole load of woes to its population. However, this year, thankfully things have been relatively smooth, and it's actually the capital New Delhi that's facing a flooding crisis at the moment with its river Yamuna that has risen to dangerous levels. Will Delhi survive the crisis? Let's hope so...

When Traffic Lights Don't Work

Mumbai is a busy city, a city that never sleeps! People are forever running up and down and the traffic is like the pulse of the city, forever throbbing. If you just step out of your home in Mumbai, you will be swept like the tide in the flow of this traffic and will be forced to keep pace with it. However, the traffic is never smooth as there are hundreds and thousands of traffic lights all over the city at various junctions. 

These traffic lights are meant to help regulate the flow of traffic through the maze of the roads in a smooth and efficient manner. Now, that might have been possible, if it weren't for the traffic cops who are stationed in some of the most busiest intersections who make it a point to create more chaos. They are much more interested in making a fast buck out of errant drivers, traffic violators, and taking their daily or weekly bribes from the truck drivers and auto drivers, than making sure that the traffic flows smoothly and that there shouldn't be a jam. But you can be sure that if there is a traffic jam somewhere...there has to be a traffic cop near it!

Busy intersection where six roads meet and the traffic lights don't work in Thane.
Having staying in Mumbai for quite a few years now, I have got used to this scenario. In fact, this happens not only in Mumbai, but all over India. Go to any city, or place...the result is the same. Traffic jam means there is a traffic cop close by. Had there been no cop, things would have probably moved in a faster pace. I wonder what these traffic cops are taught? Do they really know how to deal with traffic problems? 

Anyway, so stating the above, I was surprised to see this particular junction (as seen in the picture above) which is equally busy throughout the day, and has six roads meeting it, with traffic lights that don't work, and NO traffic cop to supervise the traffic either. This road is right in front of the building where I stay in Thane. And what is interesting to observe about this junction is that the traffic never gets jammed here. Yes, the traffic continues to flow smoothly without any interference from cops or any other source whatsoever.

As you can see, the traffic moves in all directions here, including a "U" Turn and the vehicles often break lots of traffic rules here, even going on the wrong side of the road. But..the traffic never stops. The vehicles, as you can observe in the picture, are moving straight ahead, taking a "U" Turn at the junction, or turning right, there is oncoming traffic from the road on the right as well that either goes right or straight ahead to join the road in front, and traffic coming from the opposite side, that will either go straight or take "U" turn...So, traffic in all directions possible!

Traffic flowing in all directions smoothly

In addition, there is also a long line of Auto Rickshaws queued up for CNG at the nearby petrol pump that stretches all along the road, way back! See the subsequent pictures of this queue! Fascinating. To add to the obstacles in this junction is a manhole which at times is gaping open, and times dug up and filled temporarily hampering the traffic coming from the opposite side or turning into this road. And then there are the rains, which cause this road to fill up with water. But, in spite of all this, the traffic still manages to surge throughout the day, without any major hangups or problems...I am amazed and fascinated by this sight on a daily basis.

Long queue of auto rickshaws for CNG (Pic 1)

Long queue of auto rickshaws for CNG (Pic 2)

Long queue of auto rickshaws for CNG (Pic 3)

Long queue of auto rickshaws for CNG (Pic 4)

So, what happens when traffic lights don't work, and there are no cops nearby? The result is here for all to see. A living proof and example of how Mumbai can manage quite well without interference from the civic authorities who do nothing other than harass the public at large, by abusing their power and being corrupt. A point to be mentioned here, is that just ahead of this junction, there is the main junction where there are a hoard of traffic cops sitting and where the traffic lights are working just fine. Why do you need cops there? 

Anyway, a picture speaks for itself...! See for yourself.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Beginner's Guide To Blogging & Making Money Online on Kindle

A Beginner's Guide To Blogging & Making Money Online is now available on Kindle. Are you into blogging yet? If not, this book can help you start. Are you blogging but not leveraging your efforts into making money online. This book can show you how to do that. The book has been authored by Varinder Taprial and Priya Kanwar. This is what they have to say,

Image of Kindle Edition of the book A Beginner's guide to Blogging & Making Money Online

"We wrote the book after a long experience online and we must add a monetarily profitable one. The idea behind writing the book was to share our knowledge and experience with the world. The book is doing pretty well here in India and has gone into it's second print. We decided to make a Kindle version available on Amazon to reach a wider audience who may be interested in blogging and making money online."

The book is available on Amazon. Buy A Beginner's Guide To Blogging & Making Money Online

This book will help a layman to:

Start using email
Create and maintain a Blog
Learn Blogging etiquettes and writing tips
Earn revenue from a Blog
Know about handy tools to review performance
Use Revenue Sharing Websites to make money online
Use Social Networking Sites to expand reach
Promote Blog or content online
Use Affiliate Networks and Programs to generate money

So what are you waiting for? Head to the Amazon store by clicking on the link above and have the book delivered to your Kindle within seconds.

Did you know that Kindle is also available for other devices like PC, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone and Android?

Friday, August 13, 2010

What does Independence Day mean to you?

India is celebrating it's 64th year of independence from the colonial rule on the 15th of August, 2010. That's right...64 years of freedom. Find it hard to believe?The one's sitting high up there in the position of governance may be the only one's who find that easy to they have been busy all these years in abusing their power and amassing wealth in the name of taxes and such. But what does this Independence Day mean to the common man? Me and you?

The British and other nations that ruled our country did their best to loot our natural resources and export them to other parts of the world for their own economical growth and power. The British Raj was also responsible for levying heavy taxes on the poor farmers so that the land could never be their own and they would forever be in debt to the landowners...

15th August 1947, was "apparently" a proud moment for all of the Indians for we were at last free from foreign rulers and the land now truly belonged to US! The British left, no doubt after looting all the treasures that they could lay their hands on and taking them along as mementos to their own country...Many valuable gems found their way to the "Queen's" treasure in London.

We keep hearing of the sacrifices and the amount of bloodshed that was involved in getting us this very "valuable" Independence and freedom for our country, where many many innocent lives were lost and many martyrs were born. But, does all of that really have any significance today? Do we truly value that sacrifice or the lives that were lost, in the name of our country? What does Independence Day really mean to you?

For most people today, it's just a day, like any other that is enjoyed because its a holiday. Some people feel patriotic just because they go to the flag hoisting ceremony in the morning and sing the national anthem...Just a moment of patriotism, after which it is all forgotten. A few guilty ones may even buy the cheap flags from the roadside beggars and flash them in their cars or homes or put it on their dresses to show their "so called " patriotic feelings. But, is that really being patriotic? What does Independence Day mean to you?

The politicians are busy ruling the people (or should I say imposing rules) that nobody is happy with. Inflation keeps the common man on the run to make more and more money that is never enough to feed the hungry mouths in any household. The prices of all essential commodities today are atrociously high..that includes the common man's food like dal, rice, sugar and vegetables. With the high rate of poor people in our country..I really wonder how they are surviving?

These politicians have replaced the Britishers and continue to loot the country and the poor man by levying heavy taxes, having rampant corruption in bureaucratic offices, and being involved in scams of all kinds. The common man bears the brunt of all that goes on in the parliament house. I wonder if Independence Day has any real significance for these politicians?

The farmers even today are committing suicide. Surplus grain is found rotting in the government sponsored go-downs in every monsoon and millions of tons of food gets wasted as millions of children starve in our country...but their prices never come down.

Independence Day comes only once in every year and that is the only time that any thought is given to the defense forces in our country. They are soon forgotten for the rest of the year...Till some calamity like a flood, storm, accident, tsunami, earthquakes or a terrorist attack threatens the country. I wonder why they are not given more respect and recognition for their undying dedication to the country?

I remember an incident where I received a call from one of those telemarketing companies offering me a loan or some such thing and then wanted the details of my husband. She asked me about his "occupation" and I said, "He is an officer of the Indian Navy". You will be surprised to know that she did not know what "Indian Navy" meant. She kept insisting on knowing the name of the "employers or the company"..and I kept replying.."Indian Navy"..! Then she says.."Is that a shipping company?"....?? How ignorant are we?

What does this country really mean to the common man? to you and me? Are we truly proud of our heritage and inheritance? Do we really behave like "sisters and brothers" in the hour of need or are we just pawns in the hands of the clashing political parties who rule and divide us (or divide and rule) in the name of religions, caste creed, color, regions and languages etc..

How many of us even remember the "Pledge" that we used to recite each and everyday in school and its significance? The Indian National Pledge, if you remember, was an oath of allegiance to the Replublic of India. This pledge was written by Swami Vivekananda. The National Pledge is recited in schools during assemblies, during the Independence Day, and Republic Day Observance Ceremonies. This is how it goes:-
"India is my country ,all Indians are my brothers and sisters.
I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage.
I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
I shall give my parents, teachers and all elders respect and treat everyone with courtesy.
To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion.
In their well being and prosperity alone, lies my happiness."
Jai Hind!

To me Independence Day reminds me of the fact that our country is in our hands now and it is up to us to save it from being lost or looted by the hands of foreigners or our own people. We have had enough of bloodshed in the name of Independence and yet we continue to fight for this same freedom from our neighbors like Pakistan, Srilanka, China etc..not to mention the inner turmoil that goes on in several states. 

We need to free ourselves from the chains that bind us...these are the chains of caste, creed, religion, languages and states. We need to unite and become "ONE" again...HINDUSTAN, BHARAT and INDIA should become ONE...The day each and every Indian in this country is proud to say "fearlessly" that "I am an Indian" ...will truly be the day of "Independence"...

But will that happen? Will you rise to the occasion and save India, when the need arises? Are you willing to give up your life for it? Are you willing to fight for your "rights" and true freedom in this country? It's time to think and reflect as to what Independence day truly means to you. Wake up, Citizens....Jaago.

Jai Hind

On the occasion of the 64th Independence day celebrations on the 15th August 2010, as usual the National Flag will be hoisted by the Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh, at the Red Fort, New Delhi and will be telecast live on the web at 6:30 AM onwards at this link:

This live Webcast is brought to you National Informatics Center...Watch Live Telecast of the Independence Day celebrations on 15th August, 2010...

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