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The results of my genetic test arrived in an unpretentious white envelope.

It was the summer of 2021, and I almost missed it when I flipped through the mail, but I set it aside from the rest of the bills to look at later. About a month before, I had sent a sample of my saliva to a genetic testing company in California. I wasn’t even nervous about opening it, so sure was I that it wouldn’t be a big deal.

Looking back on it now, it seems wildly naïve.

At that point, my family and I had already weathered a grueling three years dealing with the fallout from a cancer diagnosis. In 2018, we found out that my mom, Teresa, had stage 4 ovarian cancer. The diagnosis was sudden, preceded by six months of uncertain and confusing symptoms like back pain, bloating, and loss of appetite. And then there was the shock of stage 4 cancer: Right off the bat? Wait, how many stages are there? My mind reeled as I immediately googled it. I didn’t even have a basic knowledge of ovarian cancer at the time.

I stopped doing those internet searches pretty quickly; all I found were grim statistics and websites so dense with scientific jargon I could barely find the verb in a sentence. What I could understand was that ovarian cancer, not as well known or well funded as breast cancer with its ubiquitous pink ribbon, is the deadliest gynecological cancer there is.

There is no way to screen for this disease, unlike breast or cervical cancer, with their annual, routine tests—mammograms and Pap smears. So we often can’t see ovarian cancer in its early stages, which is one reason why it’s so deadly.

An estimated  19,710  people in the US will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2023. (National Cancer Institute)

The odds were stacked against her, but my mom somehow survived after a brutal six months of chemotherapy. The relief was palpable for my family. When she was well again, in early 2019, she celebrated with a kids-and-grandkids tour, since my brother, sister, and I are spread out across different countries. She started to try to live life normally once more.

When the cancer came back 11 months later, the rug was pulled out from under us again, and we were distraught, shocked.

The doctors, however, were not.

I found out later that the way my mom’s cancer presented was textbook: vague symptoms, a surprise diagnosis, and eventually a recurrence, which happens in 70 to 95% of people who were initially diagnosed with ovarian cancer in stages 3 or 4. This is how the disease goes, for the most part.

After that first recurrence, doctors recommended that my mom do a genetic test, accompanied by genetic counseling. 

Mom’s results came back positive for a gene mutation, which had contributed to the development of her cancer. This aberration is in a gene called RAD51C. When she found out, her first action was to call her kids—all three of us—and urge us to go get tested ourselves. It was important and urgent that we do this, she said, because this was the best—and probably only—way to prevent us from being vulnerable to this cancer too.

That’s why, eventually, I did get tested: I sent off that little sample to the lab, and received that envelope in the mail.

But opening it and reading the results—which revealed that I was a carrier of this mutation also—took me down a path I would never have imagined traveling. I’ll shortly have surgery for prophylactic removal of my ovaries and my fallopian tubes, as a way to make sure I don’t go through what my mom has gone through: four rounds with this cancer in the last five years.

In some ways, things are looking up, strange though that may sound for a disease with such a grim survival rate. Scientific advances now offer more opportunities for treatment and prevention than ever before. Increasingly accessible and affordable genetic testing has provided a huge step forward for dealing with a cancer for which there is no screening tool, and whose mortality rates have remained stubbornly high for the past several decades. This is, finally, a way to see around the corner to some extent, a new reason to allow some hope into the conversation. 

At the same time, recent

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By: Golda Arthur
Title: The best way to prevent the deadliest gynecological cancer is to remove multiple organs
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Published Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2023 10:00:00 +0000

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Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access

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As a crypto analyst and frequent investor in the Greek digital currency market, I can confidently recommend Bcash for convenient and secure Bitcoin purchasing in Athens. With 10 strategically located crypto ATM hotspots spanning central Athens and the northern suburbs, Bcash enables instant access to leading cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and USDT.

Experience the Leading Greek Crypto ATM Network at Bcash’s Hotspots

From first-hand experience, I’m impressed by Bcash’s easy user interface, excellent customer assistance, and fair prices. Their two-way ATM machines allow both buying with Euro cash and selling crypto for instant fiat payouts. I found the simple on-screen instructions enabled completing transactions in under 2 minutes!

Bcash’s Bitcoin ATM network stands out from competitors by aligning prices closely with real-time crypto market rates. Their typical 6-8% fees are much cheaper than traditional crypto brokers and exchanges in Greece. For investors seeking reliable local crypto access, Bcash has the solutions.

Central Athens Bcash Shops Offer Prime Buying and Selling

For maximum security while buying or selling Bitcoin, Bcash’s dedicated Athens shop locations are ideal. Their main office on Dimitrakopoulou Street in the city center contains a premier crypto ATM location open 6 days weekly. It’s close to public transit for easy access.

I also frequented Bcash’s Glyfada branch in the south shopping district. With spacious storefront access and long business hours, this hotspot proved one of my favorite crypto transaction destinations. The expert staff helped guide my buying process as a beginner too.

Glyfada Shopping District ATM Location

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The Glyfada store sits right on Gennimata Street, providing a safe and high-traffic venue for easily buying and selling leading cryptocurrencies. Open Monday through Saturday, this major Bcash outlet enjoys strong local area visibility for crypto investors.

Northern Suburbs ATM Hotspots

In Athens’ northern suburbs, I purchased Bitcoin multiple times at Bcash’s Nea Erythraia shop off Mikras Asias Street. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, it makes crypto conveniently accessible for residents across northeast Athens.

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Piraeus Port Shopping District ATM

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While recently docking overnight at the Piraeus cruise port as part of an Aegean island-hopping vacation, I encountered one of Bcash’s handy crypto ATMs just 5 minutes from the passenger terminals. Located right on Sachtouri Street inside the company’s Piraeus store, this machine proved hugely convenient for buying Bitcoin during my stay.

As one of Europe’s largest passenger ports, Piraeus receives over 4 million travelers every year who could benefit from easy access to crypto. Whether before boarding ferries to venture deeper into the Greek islands or arriving back onshore in Athens, the Bcash outlet enables obtaining coins to capture optimal valuations.

And for tourists exploring downtown Piraeus’ vast harborfront retail area, having a trusted Bitcoin ATM one block away gives peace of mind. Rather than relying solely on airport kiosks, cruise ship visitors can turn Euros into crypto almost anytime thanks to Bcash’s strategic positioning. As vacationing investors, that accessibility offers real advantages.

Bcash Brings Bitcoin to the Greek Islands

Rhodes Island BTM Location

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Title: Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access
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Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:18:46 +0000

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The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river

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The city of Monterrey in northeastern Mexico is an industrial powerhouse that has rapidly devoured green space to make room for its 5.3 million people. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range around the city is still holding strong, though the hills are increasingly encroached on by the urban sprawl of skyscrapers, apartment buildings, industrial parks, and highways. The same can’t be said for the Río Santa Catarina, the river that has been the vital core of the city for hundreds of years.

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Lizbeth Ovalle, founder of Viaje al Microcosmos, gathers water from
the Río Santa CatarinaANDREA VILLARREAL
circle of approx 25 people seated on the rocky shore of a river
Participants in one of the Viaje al Microcosmos river walks sit to share their observations and reflect on their findings.
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Andrea Villarreal, a member of the citizen science group, shows a participant how to use the iNaturalist app, which can help identify plants and animals.

overgrowth in the area below an overpass
Viaje al Micrososmos
organized a walk along this stretch of the Río Santa Catarina in October 2023.LORENA RíOS

Today, the Río Santa Catarina looks more like a forest than a river. It is mostly a dry jumble of rocks whose water is diverted to supply the city’s growing needs. Much of the riverbed is obscured by vegetation that has grown wild since a hurricane in 2010 destroyed many structures along the river, including soccer fields, parking lots, and a mini-golf course. But despite what many city officials and residents make of it, this urban river is very much alive, and a group of young women wants to prove it.

The group, called Viaje al Microcosmos de Nuevo LeónJourney into the Microcosm of Nuevo León), is not made up of scientists but, rather, of concerned citizens. Through the use of art and citizen science, its members are documenting and sharing with others the river’s forgotten nature—its trees, bushes, birds, flowers, insects, and even microorganisms (from which the group takes its name).

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By: Lorena Ríos
Title: The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river
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Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future


A story in comic format. In this first panel, two figures in silhouette look out at a modern city skyline.  The text reads,

A person's smiling headshot being uploaded.  The text reads,

The headshot from the previous panel with distroted features and a wavy new background. The text reads,

Two people look at the blank space where the framed picture of a flower has been stolen by a giant robot hand. The text reads,

Two panels. In the first, a scrabbly line resembling a signature. The text reads,

The text reads,

Text across the top continues, Read More


By: Tom Humberstone
Title: What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future
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Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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