A Simple Plan For Investigating Businesses

Factors to Note when Hiring Website Design Company

Whether you have a small or big business, you need to make sure that you are doing everything right to keep in relevant. You will need to ensure the consumers appreciate your its image. Here, it is great that you should take care of this immediately.Today, most consumers will use the internet to look for what you are selling. The reflection of your sites will tell so much about your company. The look of your sites will indicate a lot to different clients. This will be possible when you do a great web design. With the most excellent web designs available today, you can achieve the best for your site. For efficient outcome, you will be forced to involve an outstanding firm for this kind of work.Before you choose one, there are things you need to factor in as explained here.

Your priority should be choosing qualified experts. When you hire such experts, they will be quick to render high-quality services. Their qualifications will ensure every client has sites that will make sense to the customers intended.For example, if you hire the website design Charleston experts, they will understand best on the services to be rendered for each client.You can also look further by involving web design Tampa and enjoy the best services.The next thing you should consider is the reliability of the said experts. Sometimes you may require the services as soon as possible, and it will be great if they do not waste time coming to your rescue. It is wise if you involve local service providers. For instance, if the firm is situated in Florida, it is ideal to hire web design Tampa, Florida experts and get to enjoy their services.

Another thing to keep in your mind is that you need to consult the services from designers with SEO friendly websites. This is because they will determine the kind of ranking you are going to get. For great ranking, you should contact the most suitable SEO agency such as the Tampa SEO agency to help you improve your rankings.High ranking means that your brand will get the right exposure it deserves thus giving you room to expand the market.

The next consideration is the money you will pay for the services.Here, you should be careful not to involve one that is too expensive to afford. If you take time and compare different companies, you will be able to locate one to fit your budget. Working with a highly regarded service provider is relevant to note.You can ask them to show you other work they have completed to see what they do. Involve the best in the industry will let your audience get details they are looking for promptly.It will ensure you are part of the best in the industry.

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Learning The “Secrets” of Products

The Various Enhancements Available at Anna Burns Permanent Cosmetics

The world of cosmetics has been on an upward trend for a few years now due to the ever increasing demand of the products. However, only a few entities such as Anna Burns Permanent Cosmetics have been able to stand head and shoulders above the competition. By reading through this article, you get to understand what Anna burns cosmetics has to offer to all interested clients.

the specialist at the clinic does provide services in the line of cosmetics and facial reconstruction. It is named after famous Atlanta specialist Anna burns who has a wealth of knowledge in the area of enhancement procedures. The clinicians at the facility are highly trained and make use of innovative technological techniques to tend to their broad client base.

This facility is an industry leader in the area of creating permanent eyebrows that look natural and appealing. The gorgeous look of this makeup begins with using natural strokes followed by a permanent eye liner. All the above procedure are applied with professional care with an artistic touch to make the outcome special.

A comprehensive eyeliner and eyelash enhancement are available for people who need an expert hand to assist in their makeup. Once you get to the facility, you have the opportunity to decide which method of enhancement you want to be applied. Visit their website to access more information on how any of the various eyeliner enhancements can benefit you.

Clients who desire to have a lib make over to get back the peal lost through old age can also approach the clinic. For those who have uneven lips, a stimulation of the tissue can go a long way in achieving a smooth appearance. If you have an active fitness lifestyle, are allergic to traditional makeup or too busy, then this service is for you.

Apart from eyebrow and eyeliner improvements, other professional services include skin rejuvenation or micro needling which are part of permanent makeup Atlanta clinics offer. This is a non-surgical form of treatment where micro pigments are needled through the skin to improve replenishment of old skin leading to more younger and fresh look. It is also essential to those who have had injuries and require a non-surgical way to promote the healing.

If you are experiencing hair growth problems, check out Anna’s facility for expert assistance. The practice involves stimulating the layer of skin on the scalp to aid hair regrowth that lasts for a few months. A recent study has confirmed the effectiveness of the procedure which is said to work best when combined with other treatments.

Make a comparison of before and after therapy photos released by previous clients.

Finding Ways To Keep Up With Deals

Essential Gears For Your Vietnam Trekking Tours

Are you going for Vietnam trekking tours because if you do, it is integral that you know what trekking equipment to bring. You should come prepared and have the right set of equipment to be able to avoid unwanted events. Before you go down to local store and spend on what you think you need, it will depend on what kind of hiking trip you’re planning to have.

To ensure that you have everything that you need, following are the basic essentials that you must have for your Vietnam trekking tours.

Number 1. Hiking boots – in reality, this is the most significant gear in your hiking kit and thus, has to be on top of your list. They will help in protecting your feet from getting blisters and keep them dry at the same time. And with tons of different options available for hiking boots, it is where you will be going on your trip that can decide which one is best for your needs.

Number 2. Waterproof clothing – if you are going to hike on places that have unpredictable weather conditions, then waterproof clothing is something you should invest on. There are so many things that may change when you’re on high grounds even if you’re going for a day trip on summer months. For this reason, considering to buy waterproof clothing to keep you dry and warm will be a great idea.

One simple mistake that you want to steer clear of is wearing jeans on your Vietnam trekking tours. Needless to say, everyone loves jeans as they are functional and very comfortable but the thing is, you may want to avert using them when going on the mountainside. When you are wearing such piece of clothing, this can soak up water when passing through rivers or raining and as a result, restrict your movements.

Number 3. Hiking backpack – it is imperative to have high quality backpack for your Vietnam trekking tours regardless if your tour is good for the day or weekend. Needless to say, the duration of your trip determines how much you need to bring. As a matter of fact, there are basic guidelines that you should consider when it comes to the capacity of the backpack like for example, 5,000 to 6,000 cubic inches is great for those who have a weeklong trek including the camping gears, 4,000 to 3,000 cubic inches for just a week trek while up to 3,000 cubic inches for day trips.

It is very important to make investments in the right equipment that suit your needs and suitable for your trips as well in order to make your Vietnam trekking tours memorable and rewarding.

Case Study: My Experience With Tips

Cheap Leisure Activities That Can Be Incorporated In Our Busy Lives

Having fun sometimes can be hard considering the many activities that we get involved in every day like the school work, or other duties that you may have in your firm. Health and wellness contributes to positive production and it can be achieved through regular workout. Research has proven that working all the time without having to play may lead to stress, reduced creativity, and anxiety. Make use of your leisure time to participate in several indoor and outdoor activities that enhances the way we live.

You can decide to relax in a hot tub with your loved one as it helps in relaxing the body. It is affordable to have a portable spa in your home where you can spend time relaxing. The portable hot tub is useful as it can be used both indoors and outdoors making it the best for relaxation. It helps in reducing the muscle and joint pains as the water provide a gentle effect on the body.

Bowling night is fun and cheap way to interact with friends, have some drinks, get some exercise and enjoy good food and win some of the bowling matches. It is important to learn the match even if you do not know how to play the game. Bring your family with you when you come to play the game like this will strengthen your relationship with them.

You can decide to start the swimming lessons or visit the nearby beach. It is cheaper when paying for entry fee at any swimming pool and it is the proven way to exercise the whole of your body. Immune system will improve when you busk in the sun as your body will receive the essential vitamin D that is crucial in our body.

Chess game is good for strengthening our thinking capacity which will be translated into better business judgements at the end of the day. Your brains will develop, and your problem-solving skills will be enhanced when you start playing the chess game. You will have an easy time in dealing with challenges that you encounter in life due to constant participation in chess game. It helps you run your business smoothly and life moves well by strengthening the part of the brain that is charged with decision-making.

Creature companion is the best low-cost activity that you can have in your free time. It is advisable to have a pet in your home if you are struggling with depression or social anxiety as the pet will keep your mind occupied. Having a pet is a good way to cheer yourself up during the time you are depressed or thinking about life.

Learning The Secrets About Dogs

Factors to Consider When Taking Care of Your Dog That Is Less Active

When it comes to having a dog that is not as active as some dogs that you see, you have to remember that there are a number of reasons why this is the case. To start off, it could be their breed that is the main cause. There are just dog breeds that are unable to jump and run as comfortably as the others because of their innate deformed limbs and joints. Their size is also another reason. If you are taking care of a much smaller dog, then there is no doubt that they are only able to cover short distances and cannot keep up with your long strides.

So, while you are walking them what must you think of?

If your pet will be slowing down and becomes less active, it is a bad idea for you to be avoiding the dog park. When you visit the dog park, keep in mind that there are other things that your dog can do for you to enjoy the space. Being in the park, it will be best that you allow them to take a slow paced stroll around the park rather than not letting them exercise anyhow. Dogs are social animals in nature; therefore, you have to let them spend some time rolling around in the grass as well as hanging out with the other dogs in that park.

What to do with your dog’s joints

Arthritis has been considered a major problem for some breeds of dogs. When you reach a certain age, your joints may be aching and have some stiffness. Arthritis is defined as the inflammation of one’s joints that is why they can be very painful when you move. If your veterinarian has found out that your pet has this condition, then it is important that you help them out the best possible way. Instead of prolonging the use of their joints, ensure that you promote gentle movements. If some of their joints are problematic, decrease the amount of time that they will have to walk, and one way of achieving such a goal is to make use of a pet gear stroller out there. By having a pet gear stroller, they will not have to do all the walking themselves anymore and they are still able to enjoy their favorite places.

Things to consider if your dog is pudgy

Incorporating a special diet for your dog is a must if they have become less active because they may be gaining more weight than usual. Such a special diet may be prescribed by your veterinarian, and you may even find the same kind of food in your local pet stores. Provision of adequate water supply is also a given when it comes to this kind of special diet so do not forget to let them drink as plenty of water as they can. It is highly recommended that you steer clear of always feeding them snacks and treats. It is best that you instead give as reward some portion of their regular special diet.

Home Health Care: Shouldn’t It Be Work Worth Doing?

Home Health Care: Shouldn’t It Be Work Worth Doing?

Do you know who is going to care for you when you are old and frail? By current standards, it’s likely to be a middle-aged immigrant woman, with maybe a high school education and little if any training, making $20,000 a year.

And that’s if you are lucky. If you live in rural America, you may already have a hard time finding somebody to look after you. Paul Osterman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management calculates that if nothing is done to draw more workers into the field, there will be a shortage of at least 350,000 paid care providers by 2040.

This, I’m sure you’ll agree, makes little sense.

How to provide long-term care for a fast-aging population poses one of the more convoluted challenges of the American labor market. Care providers — home health aides, personal care attendants and certified nursing assistants, in the government’s classification — are expected to be among the nation’s fastest-growing occupations. The Department of Labor’s economists expect about a million more will be added from 2014 to 2024.

And yet despite their critical importance to the well-being of tens of millions of aging Americans, one-fourth of these aides live in poverty. The jobs are so unappealing that it is hard to keep workers in them: four in 10 leave the occupation entirely within a year. Many prefer the fast-food business.

“Home care is absolutely the bottom rung on the ladder, but home-care workers are the people that spend the most time with the client,” said Adria Powell, who runs Cooperative Home Care Associates, a worker-owned long-term-care agency in New York.

As President Trump promises to recover the jobs of an ancestral age populated by well-paid coal miners, steelworkers and assemblers of air-conditioners, he is missing one of the most critical challenges of the American work force: transforming long-term care into a higher-quality, better-paid job that could support the middle class of the future.

It can be done. In his new book, “Who Will Care For Us?,” to be published next month by the Russell Sage Foundation, Professor Osterman suggests that improving these jobs could actually improve the quality and efficiency of the entire health care system. “It could save the system money,” he told me.

There are a few reasons long-term care is such a bad job. “Most people see it as glorified babysitting,” said Robert Espinoza, vice president for policy at PHI, an advocacy group for personal care workers that also develops advanced training curriculums to improve the quality of the work force.

The fact that most workers are immigrant women does not help the occupation’s status. Occupational rules that reserve even simple tasks for nurses, like delivering an insulin shot or even putting drops into a patient’s eye, also act as a barrier against providing care workers with better training.

But perhaps the most important barrier is the government’s budget: Medicaid — funded by federal and state governments — picks up more than half the tab for the $300 billion or so spent every year on long-term care.

States spend about $200 billion of their own funds on Medicaid. It is the second-biggest item on their budget, after education. To raise reimbursement rates for long-term care agencies, they would have to find the money elsewhere.

Still, Professor Osterman points out that shortchanging long-term care is shortsighted. Home health aides trained to do more — to spot patients’ health problems, to keep track of their pills and doctors’ appointments and to offer advice on healthy living — could wring billions of dollars in savings from the health care system.

Better-trained aides could help patients manage chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes. They could also help manage the transition out of a hospital, ensuring that patients took their medication and followed up with the doctor, to prevent them from having a relapse or ending up in a nursing home.

Maria Soto , left, receiving instruction from Marisol Rivera, a senior aide at Cooperative Home Care Associates. Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

One assessment of the academic literature concluded that there are $250 billion in savings to be had from better managing chronic conditions and reducing hospital and emergency room admissions and readmissions.

And there are other jobs for personal care aides to do. For instance, community health workers doing home visits can help bridge the gap between patients and doctors — improving rates of immunization, helping manage conditions like high blood pressure and otherwise encouraging healthy behaviors.

Marisol Rivera offers a glimpse at how this could be done. After 16 years as an aide for Cooperative Home Care Associates, she was promoted to senior aide, assisting less-experienced aides in the field. She reminds them how to use the Hoyer lift to get patients out of bed and into their wheelchair. She keeps tabs on hospital discharge papers to make sure patients — which the firm calls members — make their next doctor’s appointment. “Most of time the reason members go back to hospital is because they don’t check back with the doctor,” Ms. Rivera said.

Ms. Rivera offers some hope for the profession. Her hourly wage went from $11 to more than $15. Still, her situation is rare. Worker-owned Cooperative Home Care Associates has only two senior aides like her. What’s more, she says, “I still live week by week.”

Changing the system of long-term care, to give more responsibilities to better-trained, higher-paid aides will not be easy. For starters, there is the awkward question of the distribution of costs and benefits. Medicaid pays for most long-term care, but Medicare would reap most of the potential cost savings from things like fewer hospital readmissions.

Cash-short states have resisted efforts to raise aides’ pay. Worried that overtime rules would break their budget, some opposed the Obama administration’s effort to cover home care aides under the Fair Labor Standards Act, from which they had been excluded based on the outdated argument that they were little more than babysitters.

Then there are the powerful nursing unions, ready to fight tooth and nail to keep aides from encroaching on their turf. Carol Raphael, former chief executive of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the largest home health agency in the United States, told Professor Osterman that when the association tried to expand the role of home-care aides, the “nurses went bonkers.”

Even advocates for older Americans have lobbied against tighter rules covering things like training for long-term care workers. Many of them also opposed covering aides under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as states facing overtime payments might cap the workweek for aides at 40 hours. If a relative were caring for you and the government said that she could work for only 40 hours, how would you get more hours if you needed them?

Still, overhauling long-term care seems within reach. Penalties for excessive readmissions are already encouraging hospitals to rethink the role of home-care aides. And Obamacare is changing the health care industry in ways that would support a better-trained, better-paid home-care work force, pushing providers to manage the overall health of patients rather than offer health services for a fee.

“There is a light bulb that is sort of going off,” Ms. Powell said. “Shouldn’t we figure out how to leverage this work force and invest in this work force to reduce hospitalization, to reduce E.R. visits, to manage chronic diseases that are so expensive?”

This is encouraging the formation of health teams, in which long-term-care aides — who are cheaper than doctors or nurses — could have a larger role in managing patients’ well-being.

You might think of it in terms of demographics. By 2040, there will be more than 50 million disabled people in the United States needing some form of long-term care, 12 million more than today. Most will be cared for by family members, but the demand for care workers will explode.

It makes sense for these workers to be better trained and empowered to offer better care. If nothing is done to improve the quality of their jobs, many will go unfilled — losing the competition for workers with McDonald’s.

In the end, the issue is not just who will care for you when you are old and frail. The broader issue is what American society will look like then. Because these are the jobs of America’s future. And America will look much better if they can sustain a middle class.

Breast-Feeding May Lower Risk of Endometriosis

Breast-Feeding May Lower Risk of Endometriosis

Breast-feeding is linked to a reduced risk for endometriosis, a new study reports.

Endometriosis — the growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus — can cause severe pain and excessive bleeding during menstruation, among other problems. It is a chronic disorder with an unknown cause.

Researchers studied 72,394 women who had had one or more pregnancies. There were 3,296 diagnoses of endometriosis among them. Compared with women who nursed for less than a month per pregnancy, those who nursed for a year or more had a 32 percent reduced risk for endometriosis. For each additional three months of nursing, they reduced their risk by 8 percent.

The study, in BMJ, controlled for body mass index, smoking, oral contraceptive use, age at menarche and other factors, but it depended on self-reports of breast-feeding, which are not always reliable.

The mechanism remains unclear, but women who stopped having periods for a time after giving birth also reduced their risk, and breast-feeding prolongs the pause in menstruation. Still, menstrual delay accounted for only a portion of the effect.

“Understanding risk factors for endometriosis that are modifiable is really important,” said the lead author, Leslie V. Farland, a research scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “And our finding builds on what we already know about breast-feeding — that it’s very beneficial for both the child and the mother.”

Hormone Treatment for Prostate Cancer Tied to Heart Risks

Hormone Treatment for Prostate Cancer Tied to Heart Risks

A common treatment for prostate cancer may increase the risk for heart disease.

A study in the British Journal of Cancer identified 7,637 men in California who had new diagnoses of localized prostate cancer from 1998 to 2008 and followed them through 2010.

About 30 percent of the men received androgen deprivation therapy, or A.D.T., a drug treatment that deprives prostate cancer cells of male sex hormones, which encourage their growth.

Men who did not have pre-existing cardiovascular disease who underwent A.D.T. had an 81 percent increased relative risk for heart failure compared with men who did not get the drug regimen. They also had slightly increased risks for heart rhythm disorders.

Men treated with A.D.T. who already had cardiovascular disease were also at higher risk for heart rhythm and conduction disorders compared to heart patients who did not get the drugs.

The study controlled for race, age, prostate tumor characteristics, other medications and cardiovascular risk factors.

The lead author, Reina Haque, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, Calif., said that the results could be particularly important for prostate patients who have risk factors for heart disease. The study, she said, provides “a way to begin a conversation about whether A.D.T. is a treatment you should use.”

Gilead to Buy Kite, Maker of Cancer Treatments, for $11.9 Billion

The drugmaker Gilead Sciences said on Monday that it would buy Kite Pharma for about $11.9 billion to bolster its aging portfolio with an emerging cancer treatment.

The acquisition, Gilead’s first major deal since 2011, is a departure from the path followed by the broader pharmaceutical industry, where — apart from Johnson & Johnson’s $30 billion takeover of the Swiss biotechnology company Actelion — the pace of acquisitions had largely slowed this year. Many drugmakers that had been busy with takeover activity in recent years have since been at work integrating their purchases.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will pay $180 a share in cash, a 29 percent premium to Kite’s closing price on Friday.

With the deal, Gilead would acquire Kite’s new cancer-fighting method, which harnesses the body’s immune system to attack malignant cells. Kite’s most promising treatment, for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is expected to receive government approval within the next year.

“The acquisition of Kite establishes Gilead as a leader in cellular therapy and provides a foundation from which to drive continued innovation for people with advanced cancers,” John F. Milligan, Gilead’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Large pharmaceutical companies have traditionally made a substantial impact on deal-making activity in the wider health care sector, using acquisitions of smaller drugmakers with promising treatments rather than spending billions of dollars on research and development.

Gilead, which made its name selling treatments for H.I.V. and hepatitis C, has been seeking to strike a deal for some time as it hunted for the next big drug: Its business has faced pressure amid competition in the market for hepatitis C treatments. Gilead’s revenue from sales of those drugs dropped in the second quarter this year to $2.9 billion, compared with $4 billion a year before.

Gilead shares had fallen nearly 8 percent in the 12 months that ended last week, as investors worried that the company had not yet found a suitable addition to its product pipeline.

In November, however, the company’s chief financial officer, Robin L. Washington, told analysts: “We have a healthy balance sheet to invest in our pipeline and external opportunities.”

As of June 30, Gilead reported having $21.6 billion in cash and short-term investments.

The acquisition of Kite would be Gilead’s biggest purchase, surpassing its $11 billion deal for Pharmasset in 2011, according to Standard & Poor’s Global Market Intelligence.

Questions remain about Kite’s prospects, as Novartis and other rivals rush to bring similar cancer treatments to market.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Gilead took advice from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lazard and the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Kite worked with Centerview Partners, Jefferies, Cowen and Company and the law firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Cooley.

With a Simple DNA Test, Family Histories Are Rewritten

Bob Hutchinson’s mother told him and his siblings almost nothing about her family, no matter how often they asked. “She was good at brushing people off,” said Mr. Hutchinson, 60.

Growing up, there were no photos of his mother as a child in the home, or of her own parents. She said that she was an only child, that her parents were dead. Her heritage, she claimed, was Italian and Swedish.

Mr. Hutchinson suspected there was more to the story. Then his sister-in-law, digging into the family past, found his mother’s childhood home listed in a 1930 census.

The family had lived in Montclair, N.J., and was described as “Negro.” Mr. Hutchinson, who runs an advertising agency and lives in Pacifica, Calif., had never been told he had African-American heritage.

These days, family secrets like this one are becoming harder to keep.

A growing number of companies now offer DNA tests that promise to pinpoint a customer’s heritage and, with permission, to identify genetic relatives. The firms include generalists like 23andMe and Ancestry.com and specialty companies like African Ancestry.

Millions of people have signed up for the tests, sending saliva samples to laboratories and paying $100 to $350 or more for an analysis.

The customers are eager to know where they came from, to find a familial context that may be lacking. The answers hidden in DNA can be revelatory, shedding light on hidden events occurring decades earlier and forever changing the family narrative.

The Best DNA Test Kits

The Wirecutter, a product review site owned by The New York Times Company, analyzed at-home DNA test kits and has a guide to the finding the best ones.

But a new analysis of DNA test kits by The Wirecutter, a review site owned by The New York Times, finds that the services also have limitations that the providers do not always fully acknowledge.

Mr. Hutchinson decided to have his DNA analyzed by 23andMe. The report revealed he is one-eighth sub-Saharan African, which means that his mother was of mixed race. There was some Italian and Swedish heritage.

Mr. Hutchinson also learned that his mother was not an only child, but had a brother. A genealogist helped him track down some first cousins in Alabama, who said they had been told never to contact Mr. Hutchinson or his family.

The cousins were delighted to hear from him. He plans to visit next year at Mardi Gras.

Mr. Hutchinson’s results were enlightening, but in other contexts ethnicity has posed a particularly knotty problem for DNA testing firms. The very definitions of “race” and “ethnicity” are fuzzy, said Joseph Pickrell, a computational geneticist at the New York Genome Center laboratory, affiliated with Columbia University.

“Different people mean different things when they say ‘race,’” he said. In the United States, for example, a person with almost any African ancestry often is identified as black.

“That’s not necessarily the case in other parts of the world,” Dr. Pickrell said.

Researchers at 23andMe acknowledged the difficulty in a recent paper, writing, “It is important to note that ancestry, ethnicity, identity and race are complex labels that result both from visible traits, such as skin color, and from cultural, economic, geographical and social factors.”

In a recent study, the researchers decided to use Census Bureau definitions — black, white, Hispanic — to ask how often people who identify as one race actually have genetic markers indicating a mixed heritage.

After examining data from 160,000 customers who agreed to participate, the geneticists learned that 3.5 percent of those who said they were white actually had DNA that was 1 percent or more African in origin.

The chances of having African ancestry were highest in the South, and highest of all in South Carolina, where at least 13 percent of those who said they were white had African ancestors.

Among those who said they were black, genetic ancestry over all was 73.2 percent African, 0.8 percent Native American and 24 percent European. Experts say the large proportion of European DNA found in African-Americans can be traced to before the Civil War, and the rape of enslaved African women.

Mr. Hutchinson’s family photographs. Through the genetic testing service 23andMe, Mr. Hutchinson learned that his mother had a brother and a sister, and a genealogist helped him track down some first cousins in Alabama, who said they had been told never to contact Mr. Hutchinson or his family. Credit Brian Flaherty for The New York Times

The ancestry of those who said they were Hispanic was something of a hodgepodge. Some had no Native American ancestry; others had 50 percent or more.

Hispanics living in the South tended to have more African ancestry. As a group, their DNA was 6.2 percent African, 18 percent Native American and 65.1 percent European.

Jewish ancestry, on the other hand, is far easier to discern. Historically, these populations were small and Jews tended not to marry outsiders. As a result, they share telltale sequences of DNA, easily identified by testing.

But is this sort of ethnic categorization really instructive? Human beings share more than 99.9 percent of their DNA; what makes us different is vanishingly insignificant in terms of genetics.

If testing “tells me I’m 95 percent Ashkenazi Jewish and 5 percent Korean, is that really different from 100 percent Ashkenazi Jewish and zero percent Korean?” Jonathan Marks, an anthropology professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, wondered in The Wirecutter.

The question of ethnicity is enmeshed with another difficult challenge for DNA testers: geography.

Genetics researchers generally know which DNA sequences originated on which continents. But pinpointing a particular country of origin, as many testing services claim to do, is far trickier.

Scientists simply do not have good data on the genetic characteristics of particular countries in, say, East Africa or East Asia. Even in more developed regions, distinguishing between Polish and, for instance, Russian heritage is inexact at best.

The precise numbers offered by some testing services raise eyebrows among genetics researchers. “It’s all privatized science, and the algorithms are not generally available for peer review,” Dr. Marks said.

“That’s why their ads always specify that this is for recreational purposes only: lawyer-speak for, ‘These results have no scientific standing.’”

For many, though, the point of DNA testing has nothing to do with ethnicity. Theresa Musumeci, 49, of Hockessin, Del., wanted to solve a longstanding mystery in her family. Who was her biological grandmother?

Mr. Hutchinson’s cousins Sandra Green, left, and Eve Clark. Ms. Green and Ms. Clark are mail carriers in Daphne, Ala., and Mr. Hutchinson has plans to join them for Mardi Gras next year. Credit Bryan Tarnowski for The New York Times

Decades ago, Ms. Musumeci’s mother had discovered she had been adopted after she overheard the nuns at her Catholic high school in Camden, N.J., talking about it.

For years, she searched for clues to her birth mother’s identity, eventually learning her name: Mary Culliton. But Ms. Musumeci’s mother died in 1995, at 55, without learning much more.

Ms. Musumeci decided to continue the quest by submitting a sample to Ancestry.com, which also will notify users of relatives in its database if they have given permission.

Among the matches were Ms. Musumeci’s half brother and a few well-known cousins — but also a man she had never heard of. His great-aunt, it turned out, was Ms. Musumeci’s great-grandmother — Mary Culliton’s mother. He filled her in on the woman’s life.

Eventually Ms. Musumeci discovered other long-lost aunts and uncles. “I found five great family members,” she said. Yet there is one regret: Her mother did not survive long enough to learn the story.

“I feel bad that the technology was not available for her,” Ms. Musumeci said.

If DNA testing has the potential to shed light on new family relationships, it also can muddy those that had seemed settled. While putting together The Wirecutter’s own report, one researcher learned that a grandparent was in fact not biologically related.

Such news can be burdensome — or freeing.

Mark, a banker in Delaware, got his test results back from Ancestry.com along with a list of relatives in its database. Oddly, there was no one on the list from his father’s side of the family.

There was one name he recognized, though: his father’s best friend. Who, it turned out, actually was his biological father.

Mark, 43, whose last name was withheld to protect his family’s privacy, is estranged from his mother, and the man he knew as his father died more than a decade ago. So he reached out to his father’s best friend, who confirmed an affair with his mother decades ago.

The two live near each other and have gotten together several times recently. The secret that the older man thought he would take to his grave is well out of the bag.

On one recent outing, Mark said, “he even showed me the place where I probably was conceived.”

Correction: 
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the family of Bob Hutchinson, who discovered relatives he did not know of following a DNA test. He has just one sibling, not two, and his mother had just one sibling, not two. The article also incorrectly described the person who began investigating the family’s history. It was Mr. Hutchinson’s sister-in-law, not his sister. In addition, the article misstated the results of the test. He was found to be one-eighth African American, not one-quarter, and to have some Swedish and Italian heritage, not none.