Friday, December 3, 2010

Indian-origin doc builds first artificial kidney

Country's Fight Against Disease Gets Boost

New Delhi: A US-based Indian-origin researcher, Shuvo Roy, has created the world's first implantable artificial kidney. What's sensational about Roy's creation is that the organ, no larger than the size of a coffee cup, will be able to mimic the kidney's most vital functions like filtering toxins out of the bloodstream, regulating blood pressure and producing the all-important vitamin D.
    The artificial kidney has been tested successfully on animals, and its human trials are expected to be held over the next five years. Once available, and if affordable, this creation by the Roy-led team at the University of California will do away with the need for kidney dialysis. This will be a great help for all patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In India, of the 1.5 lakh new patients who suffer from end-stage renal failure annually, only 3,500 get kidney transplants and 6,000-10,000 undergo dialysis. The rest perish due to an acute shortage of dialysis centres and nephrologists to man them.
    CKD is rising at a rapid pace in India and the majority of those who die are either unable to find a suitable organ for transplantation or are unable to pay the high dialysis costs. According to Roy, the device has a filtration section to remove toxins from the blood, alongside a compartment with renal cells to conduct other func
tions of a normal kidney. He believes the artificial kidney will last for years, maybe decades, and require no pumps or batteries. Patients would also not require antirejection drugs (as is required after transplants) because there would be no exposed natural tissues for the immune system to attack.
    The University of California team is now waiting for approval to conduct
larger scale animal and human trials. It has already succesfully tested the implant in a dozen rats and a handful of pigs.
    Roy, who is working with a team of engineers, biologists and physicians, said, "The payoff to the patient community is tremendous. It could have a transformative impact on their lives."
'Artificial kidney will be a boon for Indians'
    With financial support, I think we could reach clinical trials in as little as five years. But it's hard to say how long after that it becomes commercially available due to uncertainties of the FDA and commercialisation prospects," says Shuvo Roy.
    So what would this artificial kidney mean
for India? "It will be a real boon," said Dr S C Tiwari, director of nephrology and renal transplantion medicine at Fortis Health Care. He added, "The biggest problem with CKD patients in India is that a majority of them are diagnosed in the final stages where they either require constant dialysis or a transplant. They require dialysis three times a week. However, of the two lakh CKD patients requiring dialysis, only 10,000 get it, mainly because they can't afford it. Maybe only 1,000 such patients get it for free or at a subsidized rate in government hospitals. The artificial kidney, when available and if affordable, will be a miracle."
    Dr Madan Bahadur, nephrologist with
Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital added, "Work on creating tubular cells (that perform the biochemical work of the kidney) began a decade back. But bio-chemical engineering has so far not managed to replicate the human kidney. If this new device delivers on its promise, it will be fantastic." According to Dr Jitendra Kumar, head of nephrology at Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, the main reason this artificial kidney will be a real breakthrough is because it will be able to mimic the vital functions of a kidney, like regulating BP and producing vitamin D—things a dialysis can't do.
    "Around 40% of diabetics have some form of kidney disease. And with over 50 million diabetics in India, you can understand what the burden of kidney failure patients will be. Most of these patients will require 40 hours of dialysis per month, which completely curtails their lifestyle. If the artificial kidney, which can be worn or transplanted, is available, the patient will be free to live a normal life without having to spend most of his/her time at dialysis centres," Dr Kumar said.

The artificial, implantable kidney developed by Dr Shuvo Roy is the size of a coffee cup and is ready for test on humans. If successful, it could replace the need for dialysis and transplants for lakhs of people suffering from chronic kidney disease

Roy's father is from India while his mother is Bangladeshi. Born in Bangladesh, young Roy spent some time in India as well. Studied in Uganda, where his father was a doctor. Went to the US for higher studies

Every year, 1.5 lakh new patients end up suffering from end-stage renal failure. Only 3,500 get transplants and 6,000 undergo dialysis. The rest die due to shortage of dialysis centres and nephrologists
Patient undergoing dialysis
spends 10,000 a month, with
the process taking 72 hours

Product Review - Pooka Pure & Simple Shea & Olive Hair Butter

Went to Whole Foods yesterday in search of one thing but stopped by the Health and Beauty section first. While browsing, I came across a brand by the name - Pooka Pure & Simple. I picked up the hair butter as it looked interesting and after reading the ingredients, being the product junkie I am, I tossed it in my cart.

Pooka Pure & Simple Shea & Olive Hair Butter:

From the website - This blend of Shea Butter & Olive oil moisturizes hair and scalp. Rosemary essential oil stimulates hair growth and Lavender essential to soothe the scalp.

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Beeswax, Rosemary Oil, Lavendar Oil, Fragrance

The consistency is that of a hair cream. It emulsifies into an oil when you place in your hands before applying to your hair. A little goes a long way with this hair butter. It's not heavy however if you are heavy handed when it comes to applying product beware as I can see how this could potentially make your hair greasy. One thing that may be "off-putting" to some is the smell. The scent of this hair butter is Strong with a capital S for emphasis. But, with that being said the scent is quite pleasant (in my opinion). It smells sweet with a herbal twist which I am thinking comes from the Rosemary and Lavendar Oils. I personally love the scent and found that it doesn't linger long after you apply it to your hair.

I also like the fact that it contains beeswax which some may not like. The beeswax makes this product behave like a pomade in my hair - controlling the frizzies, smoothing down my edges and keeping little flyaway hairs in place.

Lastly, since the ingredients are all natural it doubles as a body butter.

Overall - a good product. Since a little goes a long way I will probably will not repurchase any time soon. I can see this jar lasting me for months and months.

Thanks! PJ3, AW

PS - for those who are curious, feel free to come by and sample the product.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


PJ-1:Why did you decide to ‘go natural’?
SHARA: I had been thinking about going natural probably since my early 20s. I wanted locs at first... But didn't have the guts to cut all my hair off. Years passed and the natural idea never left my mind. I really decided I would not perm my hair anymore when I saw a young lady in the salon get her hair pressed and she didn't have a perm (it looked so nice!). I think the more I matured, I became more conscious about being African American...hence I wanted to embrace all that came along with being of African decent, most real hair texture.

PJ-1How long have you been natural?
SHARA: My last perm was Nov. 2, 2007. I cut off all the remaining relaxer exactly a year later Nov. 7, 2008. A little over 2 yrs ago now.

PJ-1 What do you do when you’re having a bad hair day?
SHARA: If I can't wear a hat I try to make it neat, walk with confidence as if it's suppose to look like it does, and keep it moving

PJ-1:How often do you apply heat to your hair?
SHARA: I don't really keep track. Its whenever I'm in the mood to straighten all based on my mood.

PJ-1:5. What hair styles do you get the most compliments on?
SHARA: Twists, twist outs, up-do's, and straight

PJ-1:What product are you really feeling right now?
SHARA: Kizzie's Stay-Put hair pomade by carol's daughter, evoo, evco, Trader Joe's tea tree tingle conditioner, shea butter (raw), eggs & mayonnaise as a conditioner, castor oil creme (jar with the pink top) by bronner bros, super gro by bronner bros, apple cider vinegar tonic for the scalp, miss jessie's curly buttercreme, and h2o (water)!

PJ-1....And she is an example of a true product junkie...I asked what PRODUCT is she really feeling right now and she gave a LIST! LOLOL
ME IN 2007




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

News Anchor Goes 'Natural' & Ratings SOAR

A follower of the blog (Anika) sent in this post:

News Anchor Goes 'Natural' & Ratings SOAR

Going natural is the new trend for many African-American women. We've got the story of a Florida news anchor whose process lead to a ratings increase when you read on...

And yes, we're WELL aware the story came out over a week ago.  But we felt this is a positive story that can never get too much attention and we wanted to post it here as well.  Chill.

Rochelle Ritchie of WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida decided to let her hair go 'natural' and let viewers see the transformation. During the process, the ratings of Ritchie's show increased. When she first told the idea to the news director, a white man, he had no idea about the process. The news director said," I had no clue this was an issue. I never heard about it, and I had African American friends. I instantly bought into this story. I had not seen this story done. It brings up a safety concern." His only concern was that the viewing audience wouldn't care but the feedback proved positive.

Ritchie also posted her story on a website.
"Making the decision to go natural was not an easy one, especially being a black female reporter. After graduating Western Kentucky University in 2004, I accepted an editor position at a local TV station in my home of Lexington, KY. I had sent out tons of resume tapes hoping to one day be a reporter. But I didn’t get one interview with my relaxed shoulder length hair. One day an anchor, black female, told me I needed to get extensions if I wanted to land a job. I got extensions and made a new tape with my new look and I started getting calls immediately. From there the belief that I needed extensions in order to be hired set in. I spent more money on my hair than anything. In six years I spent $9600, my student loans are $9500, so that should give you an idea of where my priorities were.
“The story about going natural developed while I was having a conversation on the phone with a friend at work. My producer heard me saying, ‘I am going natural, I am tired of wigs, weaves and relaxers.’ She (producer) asked me what I meant by that and I showed her YouTube videos of black women who were on the journey of going natural. She was stunned and said, ‘Rochelle that would make a great story for sweeps.’ I pitched the idea and with her support as well as our female anchor they allowed me to do it. My news director’s response was great. His only concern was just keeping up with the process of my story and hair. My general manager is a great guy and totally supported me as well.
The fear of getting a new job with my new look does not scare me because I believe my work and passion for this business will shine through.
“I have had such an AMAZING response from the community. People of all genders and races have completely supported me with positive feedback. Of course if there were any negative emails my news director does not send those to me. But personally I haven’t gotten one email or Facebook comment that was negative. A matter of fact many of my white and Latino colleagues say I look more professional. I believe this as well. I feel I look more polished and sharp. I also feel like I think better without all that fake hair on my head! lol….
“For my ‘black female reporter hopefuls’ I say let your work show your ability to be a good, excuse me a great reporter. My story is a way for me to pave the way for black women’s hair to be acceptable not just in the professional world but on TV! I would say if you are natural. Keep it neat. And if you are worried about getting a job the fabulous thing is we can straighten our hair for the interview and go back to our beautiful curls when we leave.
“Do I have any regrets? Yes I do. I regret denying my natural beauty. I regret falling into the belief that I needed to look a certain way to get into this business instead of believing in my ability as a reporter. I regret allowing someone to cover me up. But no more! This is me, Rochelle Ritchie a natural, professional and happy television reporter. And I feel more confident now than ever before and look forward to climbing the ladder of success with all my kinky curls.”

Interesting story. And it says a lot that this many people were at least interested in hearing a real story about a YBF woman and her natural hair. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whipped Shea Butter

So after ordering Whipped Shea Butter from Oyin Handmade that only lasts me about 2 weeks tops with everyday use, I decided to try my hand at making my own as a cheaper alternative. I watched a few videos on about the process and then I went out and bought:
- large container of 100% pure Unrefined Shea Butter
- small jar 100% pure Virgin Coconut Oil
- small bottle of 100% pure Jojoba Oil
- small bottle of 100% pure Argan Oil (I already had this on hand at home; *I used this in place of Vitamin E oil which is recommended)

I melted the Shea Butter by placing the jar in hot water until it softened (not melted), I then placed the Shea Butter in a blender and blended until it was smooth like cake batter. I then added 1 tablespoon of the Coconut Oil, 1 tablespoon of Jojoba Oil and 1 tablespoon of the Argan Oil and blended a little longer. After about 3 minutes, I placed the top part of the blender with the contents into the fridge for about a half hour. I then removed from the fridge, blended for another 2 minutes and then placed the whipped contents into a small container. The end result was a smooth cream.

This concoction can be used as a body cream or hair pomade, etc. Next time, I am going to add some essential oils for fragrance.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Hello Girls (and guys),
 Hope all is well and everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.
Just want to write a quick post about what 3 of the girls and I are about to do. For the month of December, we are going to take a 30 day supply of the Hairfinity pills. These pills are 'guaranteed' to grow your hair faster by up to that's equivalent to 1 inch a month as oppose to .5 inch a month. The ingredients are:

Now I know that some of you may be against taking supplements when it comes to your hair/health, but I've done some research and also read lots of reviews on this particular brand; I've even tried them once already and did not experience any side effects. I had a growth spert right after I finished the bottle sooo I  think I wanna blame the growth of my hair on the pills. I will recommend that you guys do your own research if you think about trying the pills. We will take before and after pictures and post. Stay tuned.
Lata, Chan- PJ1

Correct time to drink Waterwater

Correct Time to Drink Water....Very Important...

This is interesting!! I knew you need your minimum water to

flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me.

Correct Time to Drink Water....Very Important

From A Cardiac Specialist!

Drinking water at certain time maximizes it's effectiveness on the body:

2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs

1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion

1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure

1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack