All posts by pujabhattacharjee2017

3D printed bone may hold key to treating birth defects and accidents

By Puja Bhattacharjee

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year, about 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate in the U.S. It is a birth defect where a missing bone in the upper palate leaves the newborn with a hole between the nose and the mouth.

Pediatricians do not have a lot of options to fill that hole right now. Metal implants need to be replaced later as the child grows. Allograft, or grafting bone tissue from cadavers, risks complications and infections since children have weaker immune systems. And growing up with a physical defect is painful for any child.
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Boat show makes a comeback

By Puja Bhattacharjee

The winter and rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds who attended the 87th Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail show. The show hosted at McCormick Place from January 11-15, featured over 600 boats, a dozen RVs and over 200 boating and sailing seminars.

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Chicago’s LGBTQ community gearing up for Trump presidency

By Puja Bhattacharjee

The LGBTQ community in Chicago is not taking any chances on President-elect Donald Trump’s shifting statements. Organizations and groups advocating LGBTQ rights are hosting on-going events to calm, organize and inform the community about their rights and the resources available to them.

On November 28, the Center on Halsted organized A Call to Rise which brought together the 100 members of the LGBTQ community to heal and uplift each other and discuss what actions they can take to defend rights. Another event is planned for December 14.

Concern over a Trump presidency escalated in September when the GOP candidate pledged to sign the proposed First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would allow people to legally discriminate against the LGBTQ community. But after winning the 2016 presidential election, he said in a 60-Minutes interview that ‘It (marriage equality) was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done.” He chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence, known for his anti-LGBTQ policies, as his running mate. Yet he vowed to protect the LGBTQ community from threat at the Republican National Convention.
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For the love of birds: Carolyn Marsh’s 30-year fight for the Hammond environment

By Puja Bhattacharjee

Plan to navigate through the Horseshoe Casino parking lot and take a short walk along the lakefront before you can get to the turnstile entrance of the Hammond Bird Sanctuary in Hammond, Indiana.

I followed Carolyn Marsh, 72, into the sanctuary early one morning. Marsh cleaned the bird baths inside the sanctuary, meticulously brushing the dirt off them and filling them with clean water. She refilled the squirrel-proof bird feeders with seeds she bought at her own expense. At times, she paused to point out migrating birds  taking a rest at the sanctuary.

As she was finishing her rounds, the birders started trickling in. The sanctuary is so peaceful. It was hard to tell there were a dozen people watching the birds through their binoculars from beyond the fences in the sanctuary. But the absolute stillness here is punctuated by noises from lawnmowers, cars and people.

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