New Non-Invasive Treatment Offers Hope to Women with Uterine Fibroids

A diagnosis of uterine fibroids can be a harrowing experience for any woman, given that a hysterectomy may be the only way to treat them. However, a hospital in Georgia is offering an alternative to local women that will change their lives for the better.

According to the Times-Herald, Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Newnan, Georgia, is now offering Uterine Fibroid Embolization, or UFE, to women who suffer from uterine fibroids. The treatment is non-invasive — and that is great news for women suffering from the troubling ailment.

Fawzi Mohammad, M.D., is one of the doctors offering the service, and he expounds the tremendous benefits of the new procedure.

“UFE is a great alternative to surgery and we are proud to offer women with fibroids the ability to have all their care, from the initial consultation, to the procedure, to the follow-up visit done locally,” said Dr. Mohammad.

Removal of the uterus, known as a hysterectomy, has long been the most common surgical procedure used to treat uterine fibroids. With this amazing advancements in treatment, women are given a second chance to avoid invasive surgery.

The Jamaica Observer reports that the treatment may not be the right option for every woman, and Dr. Daryl Daley of Gynae Associates stresses the importance of making sure you seek the treatment that is right for you.

“Definitive treatment is dependent on the patient’s age, future fertility desires, the number and the size of the fibroids and the symptoms present,” explained Dr. Daley.

While UFE may not be the answer for every women suffering from uterine fibroids, it certainly helps millions breathe a sigh of relief. Uterine fibroid treatments have come a long way, and these non-invasive treatments are offering long-term solutions to women in need.

The Times-Herald goes on to mention that a recent study showed that about 80% of women who underwent a UFE procedure experienced total relief of symptoms and recurrence of treated fibroids was extremely rare.

These non-invasive treatments will only continue to improve, which is great news for the almost 50% of women who experience uterine fibroids at some point in their life. Hopefully, in the future, hysterectomies will become a thing of the past.

Josh Duggar Checks Into Rehab As Brother-In-Law Spews Insults on Facebook

As if the Duggar family drama wasn’t bad enough already, the recent Ashley Madison website hack has just made things a whole lot worse for TLC’s former fundamentalist reality stars.

Josh Duggar, arguably the most controversial member of the Duggar family at the moment, was caught red-handed when “hacktavists” broke into the Ashley Madison website and released thousands of user emails.

Duggar already faces serious public scrutiny after reports emerged a few months ago that he had sexually abused multiple young girls girls as a teenager, including his sisters. The allegations caused TLC to cancel the reality show that catapulted the Duggar family to fame, titled 19 Kids and Counting, and the family as a whole has faced plenty of public criticism for the way it handled the charges — or rather, the way it ignored the charges and tried to sweep them under the rug as swiftly as possible.

Despite the accusations and his abrupt departure from his job at the conservative lobbying group Family Research Council, Josh Duggar, 27, seemed firmly rooted in marriage with his wife, Anna, and their children.

That is, until the Ashley Madison email records were released, and it become clear that Josh had been cheating on his wife for three years.

According to CNN, the cybersecurity company Trustify has confirmed that Duggar had an account on Ashley Madison, using the name “josh_the_man.” He paid the company nearly $1,000 between 2012 and 2015 for dating services targeted specifically to married individuals looking to have extramarital affairs.

Duggar released a statement on his family’s website on August 19, admitting that he had been struggling with a pornography addiction and had been unfaithful to his wife. Just a week later, TIME reported, Duggar checked himself into rehab for his apparent sex and pornography addictions.

Up until this point, it has been unclear how well his wife, Anna, had been handling the entire onslaught of events. Though infidelity often leads to divorce, and indeed is the primarily reason for splitting up, according to 73% of divorced couples, the fundamentalist Christian faith that the Duggar family preaches is not very keen on allowing members to get divorced easily.

Of course, social media has a way of weeding out unpleasant details for the media, which is exactly what happened when Duggar’s recently-married sister, Jessa Seewald, posted a Bible verse from 1 John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Daniel Keller, Anna Duggar’s brother and Josh’s brother-in-law, took the opportunity to voice his true feelings about the Duggar lifestyle by commenting on Seewald’s post, according to FOX News. “You have to confess and forsake your sin to have mercy. Not sin confess and repeat,” Keller commented. “Confessing and getting caught are two different things… You want to know what happens when you cover ur [sic] sin maybe you should go read ur [sic] bible instead of beating people over the head with it.”

School Budget Woes Epitomized in Ceredo-Kenova Stadium Case

High school athletics is one of the best developmental tools for teenagers in any situation. Curricula can change regularly, but The leadership, discipline, and team-work abilities gained from organized team sports is one of the most prized exports of the educational system. Unfortunately, government-funded public schools are constantly trying to meet tight budgets and sports is one of the first areas to feel the wrath.

Ceredo-Kenova High School in West Virginia is one school currently in the predicament of deciding what to do with their antiquated facilities. According to the local news site, the community is currently in discussions on whether to refurbish or replace the old concrete stadium that was built and paid for by the people of the town in 1964. Ric Griffith, a community businessman and former mayor, is one of the proponents of restoring the structure to its former glory, and even adding murals of local historical sporting events.

“Can we return to what we once had? No. Can we preserve it? Yes,” Griffith said. “It would provide historic and artistic enhancement. It can be done.”

Unfortunately, he believes many of the school board members are in favor of a complete tear down, even though estimates suggest restoration would actually be cheaper.

“I spoke with David Ferguson with ZMM Architects who said it would be more expensive to demolish the stadium rather than restore it,” Griffith said. “He said restoring the stadium would cost 80% of the price of demolition. We have time to do the analysis and repairs before the new school opens.”

A proposal from the board suggests aluminum bleachers would be bought to replace the concrete ones. Seating capacity would be reduced as the plan calls for bleachers that would seat 800 versus the 2,000 seat capacity of the concrete ones. However, aluminum bleachers can come in many different sizes and adjustments could be made to accommodate more space.

The situation in Ceredo-Kenova isn’t unique except that the stadium they’re thinking of replacing has been around for such a long time. More and more schools across the country will be faced with these tough questions as budgets continue to shrink and athletics suffer the brunt.

Delicious E-Cig Flavors Helping Many Smokers to Make the Switch

While traditional cigarettes may not become completely extinct during our lifetime, the big tobacco companies now have their biggest competition ever.

E-cigarettes, or “e-cigs”, are electronic alternatives to cigarettes that have become the popular choice for many Americans who enjoy the wide assortment of e-liquid flavors available to them.

According to Health News Florida, one former smoker is echoing these praises and credits them for helping him stop smoking.

“Now that I switched to this, I just can’t stop smoking it,” said South Florida resident Juan Uranga. “It’s really helped with the cigarettes…I don’t even smoke them anymore.”

Health benefits aside, a major reason Juan and many others are switching to e-cigs is the vast array of vaping flavors for sale available to them, from classic tobacco to fruit-flavored options.

“It’s popular because there are millions of flavors,” said Florida smoke shop owner Sadallah Kahuk. “You can go from a cereal to a dessert to caramel to bacon.”

According to the Inlander, some companies are getting especially creative, offering flavors such as guava nectar, bubble gum, and super-menthol flavors that leave your mouth feeling cool and refreshed.

It’s safe to say that it isn’t very hard to find an e-cig flavor that you like, whatever your preference may be. The only real question is what your favorite one will end up being.

Popularity Rises, Results Remain Stagnant for Annuity Buyers

Over the last several years the financial market has rebounded, jobs are starting to come back, and overall the U.S. is much more financially secure than in the years directly following the “Great Recession.” Nevertheless, people are showing apprehension when it comes to how and where they choose to invest their savings.

Even with current interest rates low, there is a trend upward in the purchase of annuities. According to the news outlet, sales of annuities rose 3% in 2014. These type of annuity policies are especially popular with Baby Boomers as more and more rapidly approach retirement age.

As the piece also points out, it is the conservative, fixed-rate annuities that are enjoying the most success, as opposed to volatile versions that rely more on stocks. These safer options, however, only usually yield payments of just 2-3%. When you consider it’s not uncommon for annual annuity fees to reach levels of 3%, it might be time to ask yourself if playing it so close to the chest is really worth it.

While it’s certainly smart to be conservative and risk-averse with the majority of your retirement savings, at some point you need to determine what the net gain will be. You might as well keep your money stashed away in a box under your bed, instead of paying fees that drain your capital, leaving you the same amount you started with.

In other words, it might be time to start looking into slightly more aggressive investment options. If you already spent your retirement investment money on the purchase of an aforementioned annuity, it’s still not too late. There are many reputable companies in the business of buying annuities for cash settlements.

If you go this route, you will then have money on hand to invest in slightly riskier, but potentially more rewarding options. According to a piece in the Chicago Tribune, one-third of Americans think there’s better than a 50% chance they will outlive their savings. Not losing money is great, but not making the money you have work for you isn’t helping you either.

As has been the case throughout history whether in business, love, finances, or life: You gotta risk it to get the biscuit.

Google’s ‘Alphabet’ Announcement Leaves Rural Small Business in the Dust

Contrary to widespread belief, Google is not just a search engine. Rather, it is a powerful advertising tool, utilized by millions of businesses across the globe to help increase traffic and awareness, and ultimately, sales.

For small businesses, Google’s belief in web democracy is especially important. There are approximately 27 million small businesses, and they account for up to 80% of all jobs in the United States. Using Adwords and Google analytics, these businesses gain leverage against big competitors, and develop the online visibility and traffic necessary to keep their businesses thriving.

However, despite Google’s insistence on web democracy, their recent announcement regarding “Alphabet,” the new parent company that will oversee not only the search giant but also its experimental projects like Google Glass and self-driving cars, is severely affecting the online traffic for a small business in rural Pennsylvania.

Alphabet Signs is a sign manufacturer and distributor with humble beginnings.

The company began out of the back of owner and operator Daniel Keane’s car. Today, all of the company’s business is achieved through its website.

Since Google’s announcement, the company has seen a 30% decrease in website traffic.

“At this point, our overall search traffic is down around 30 percent total,” Keane told Huffington Post. “We’re a mid-size sign shop in Pennsylvania, and online is our bread and butter.”

Since the announcement, the statistics haven’t seemed to improve in Keane’s favor. He is, however, remaining proactive about the situation.

“Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it but restrategize,” said Keane.

As part of his new strategy, the sign store owner has started using negative keywords in order to gain web traffic while not having to spend money on keywords that have seen a spike in price such as “Alphabet” (we’re looking at you, Google!).

For small business owners, the fate of Alphabet Signs serves as a cautionary tale. As Google Analytics constantly changes, it’s important to stay on top of Adwords and online traffic.

As for Alphabet Signs? They may have lost their ranking for “Alphabet” but at least this news coverage is making up for it in traffic!

Accidental DNA Discovery Suggests Multiple Migrations Comprised the ‘First’ Americans

We know that a group of early humans crossed the Bering land bridge from Siberia over to the North American continent about 23,000 years ago, but scientists have always assumed that this group spread out across North America before venturing farther South.

Now, it seems that at least two groups of travelers made the perilous journey — leading researchers to state, for the first time, that another “ghost population” managed to cross the Bering bridge and venture down to Central and South America, without leaving any traces of their passing along the way.

A new report published in the online academic journal Nature states that researchers have found DNA evidence linking two Amazonian tribes, the Surui and the Karitiana, to current populations in Papua New Guinea and Aboriginal Australian tribes. This newly discovered genome means that the Surui and the Karitiana are more closely related to populations across the Pacific than to Native Americans in the north.

According to Fox News, lead author and researcher Pontus Skoglund of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School stated that his team made the “unexpected discovery by using statistical methods that test whether a set of populations are equally related to a set of other populations.”

The team expected to find that Amazonian tribes have more in common with descendants of Native American tribes, which would have confirmed that there was just one major voyage of early humans across the Bering bridge.

This new “ghost population,” which appears to have no direct descendants on any continent, is now being called “Population Y” — a term derived from the word “Ypykuera,” which means “ancestor” in the ancient language of the Surui and Karitiana people.

Scientists often refer to “ghost populations” to reference villages or cultures that vanished without explanation; early U.S. history dating back before the Revolutionary War even boasts of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, which vanished into thin air after shipments of supplies from England were delayed for three years.

Similar to the multiple journeys that early American colonists made, scientists now believe that there was a period of mass migration from Siberia over to the Americas, but that several groups made individual journeys and settled in different locations.

There are no confirmed dates when each of these migrations likely occurred, nor do researchers know why each group decided to make the journey.

Study: Almost 14% of Our Coastline is Now Covered in Concrete

As of 2015, almost 14% of U.S. shoreline is covered in concrete.

Researchers working with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that up to 22,842 kilometers of the country’s coast is “armored” with concrete barriers and seawalls, and that includes ocean, bay, and tidal river shorelines. Concrete installations can easily last up to 50 years, and the scientists say that unless trends change, they expect the amount of new concrete on our coasts to at least double this century.

One of the lead researchers behind the new study was Rachel K. Gittman of Nahant, Maryland. She and her fellow scientists concluded:

“The demand for coastal defense strategies against storms and sea-level rise (SLR) has increased with population growth and development along coastlines. Shoreline hardening, a common defense strategy that includes the use of seawalls and bulkheads, is resulting in a ‘coastal squeeze’ on estuarine habitats.”

That confirms findings from other scientists and environmentalists in the Chesapeake Bay region. In the National Wildlife Foundation’s report on “Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Habitats of the Chesapeake Bay,” scientists found that such seawalls and dikes posed a serious threat to local marine life habitats. If sea levels rise in the 21st century, as most scientists agree that they will, then concrete barriers and seawalls can prevent coastal habitats from naturally migrating inland with rising tides.

The NWF wrote, “We may be able to preserve habitats in some areas by restoring natural replenishment of sediments, for example, by removing seawalls…or reconsidering the use of river dams.”

Communities looking for an alternative to artificial, armored sea walls can encourage the replenishment of natural “living barriers,” which include vegetation planting or offshore breakwaters. But that might be a hard sell for developers in the South Atlantic and Gulf States, where the bulk of new concrete seawalls are installed. Although living barriers might benefit marine habitats, the effectiveness of living barriers in protecting human habitats has not been extensively studied.

New Studies Show that Frozen Donor Eggs May Reduce Chance of Pregnancy

According to a new study, patients who are undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) might reduce their chances of give birth by freezing their donor eggs.

One in eight couples, or 12% of married women, have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Infertility experts use methods such as IVF as a treatment for couples trying to have a baby. During the IVF process, donated egg and sperm are fertilized in a lab environment, and the egg is placed into the woman’s uterus to carry.

CBS News reports that the new study, published in August’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined over 11,000 IVF procedures that used donor eggs. Twenty percent of the eggs in the study had been frozen.

The results of the study showed that only 47% of the IVF procedures that used frozen eggs resulted in a live birth. When a fresh donor egg was used, 56% of women were able to give birth.

“Our research demonstrated that – contrary to some claims made mostly by commercial interests – frozen eggs offer a lower change of a pregnancy and delivery chance after IVF than fresh eggs,” Says Dr. Norbert Gleicher, co-author of the study and chief scientist with the Center for Human Reproduction in New York City.

So far, it is not clear how the freezing of the eggs results in fewer birth rates. The authors of the study hypothesize that the quality of the egg is lessened during the freezing or thawing processes.

The study had some limitations. Since the statistics were anonymous, researchers were unable to control variables that may have skewed with the results, such as the ages of the donors or patients, or the specific reasons for their issues with infertility. Until more research can be done, doctors recommend that patients discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of their treatment options.

D.C. Electronic Billboards Show Pictures Of Missing Children

A billboard campaign started by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was launched on August 12. The billboards featured the faces of missing children, such as Sarah and Jacob Hoggle, who have been missing since September 7th, 2014.

The campaign is referred to as the “Summer of Hope,” and was designed to spread the word about young children who have been reported missing. The plan is to distribute these advertisements to the D.C. and Baltimore area, and then spread the campaign to the rest of the country. The ads will be shown in 50 Metro stations in D.C., and 14 shelters and billboards in Baltimore.

Recent research by OTX, a global consumer research and consulting firm, showed that 63% of adults find that advertising on digital signage catches their attention. This is what the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are counting on.

“Now that I’m not capable of being out there on TV every day. I’m back at work. I’m capable of keeping it out there the way that I am, this really helps,” says Troy Turner, the father of Sarah and Jacob Hoggle. Turner expresses how grateful he is for the campaign, “The fact that it’s a national campaign also helps since we have leads all over the place.”

Bethesda Magazine reports that the mother of the children, Catherine Hoggle, has been placed in a mental hospital for schizophrenia. Though she has been charged with abducting the kids, Hoggle has not provided the police with any information on their whereabouts.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that there were over 460,000 missing children claims made to the U.S. police in the last year.

The billboards are expected to stay up throughout all of August. In the coming weeks, the campaigns is expected to spread across other major cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles.