Scottish museums plan day of celebration

Second annual Scottish Museums Day on 3 October
Simon Stephens, 20.09.2017

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5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.

Life is full of opposing pairs: sweet and savory, fast and slow, hard and soft. One half of the pair can’t — and shouldn’t — exist without the other. This concept is known as yin and yang, or, the idea that two opposing forces actually create a balance.

If you’re a runner, your weekly mileage falls into the ‘yang’ category, says Eric Jeffers, Life Power Yoga master trainer at Life Time Green Valley in Henderson, NV. Running, like all forms of exercise, is stressful for your body. While it builds up strength, speed and endurance, it can also leave you feeling sore and depleted if you don’t balance it out with adequate recovery — aka ‘yin.’ So instead of doing a few half-hearted stretches post-run, try something that can really help you strike a balance between stress and relaxation.

The answer: yin yoga.

RELATED: The Strength Training Workout Every Runner Needs

Hit Your Stride: Yin Yoga for Runners

Unlike more dynamic, fast-paced yoga styles like vinyasa and ashtanga, yin yoga feels more like a meditation session than a workout. Instead of flowing from one pose to the next with little to no pause in between, yin yogis hold poses (called asanas) that require very little exertion for longer periods of time, usually between three and five minutes. “This technique targets tendons, ligaments and fascia of the lower body,” says Jeffers. “It helps relieve tension and soreness, maintains range of motion and improves circulation.”

As a bonus, students perform almost all of the poses seated or lying down — the perfect antidote to miles spent in an upright position. Consider it the perfect complement to any running routine.

RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

5 Yin Yoga Poses to Do Post-Run

To relieve tension and keep soreness at bay, Jeffers recommends incorporating these five simple yin yoga poses into your post-run regimen.

As you get started with each pose, don’t look for too much intensity. Instead, “allow time to do the work,” Jeffers says. Yin yoga is about gently falling into the stretch, “not making it happen fast.” Avoid bouncing or pulling, and if you feel a sharp pain, back off a little.

Photo courtesy of Andy Lott

1. Half Butterfly

How to: Extend one leg forward and drawing the other in toward your body. Allow the bent leg to naturally fall open at the hip. Fold slowly over your extended leg, allowing your head to hang and your neck and upper back to relax. If this becomes too intense, gently hold your head upright. Hold for 3 to 4 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

Photo courtesy of Andy Lott

2. Dragon

How to: Step one foot near the front of your mat and bend your knee to extend your other leg back behind you. Place your back knee down on the mat. Place both hands inside your front foot. As your body begins to soften into the pose, you may eventually come down onto your forearms (as shown). Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

RELATED: 3 Running Drills from Olympic Sprinter Tori Bowie

Photo courtesy of Andy Lott

3. Half Saddle

How to: Sitting with both legs in front of you, swing one leg back and gently place your shin and the top of your foot on the floor next to your hip. Begin to lean back onto your hands or elbows. Your knees can remain together or slightly separate if needed. If your body allows, you may carefully lay all the way down onto your back. Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

Photo courtesy of Andy Lott

4. Reclined Hand-to-Big Toe Pose Variations

How to: Lying on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, use a towel or yoga strap to gently draw one leg towards you as you straighten your knee. The leg that remains on the floor may remain bent, but if you can, you may fully straighten both knees (as shown). Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Photo courtesy of Andy Lott

5. Supine Spinal Twist

How to: Lying on your back with both legs extended, draw one knee into your chest. Allow that leg to gently fall across your body to the opposite side. Extend your arm out in the opposite direction the leg is falling with your palm up. Do your best to keep your shoulder on the ground. Hold for 3 to 4 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

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MA publishes information for museums facing closure

Report looks at legal and ethical considerations
Patrick Steel, 20.09.2017

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Halle Berry Just Turned 50, Here’s How She Stays So Fit

The star’s trainer spills the secret to her streamlined stomach.

It’s hard to believe that Halle Berry has spent five decades on this earth, but it is indeed true. And the flawless beauty ushered in the milestone year yesterday with an ah-mazing Instagram photo in which she is sporting a lace coverup that, um, doesn’t cover up much. Her caption: “With open arms I welcome 50…I’m so blessed to be here!”

After we picked our jaws up off the floor (and tossed that doughnut into the trash) we quickly realized that the Oscar-winning actress is not just our 50-year-old #fitgoals, she is our everyday #fitgoals—especially when it comes to that streamlined stomach of hers. Shall we just go ahead and say her abs are on fleek!

To help us mere morals stay on the get-better-with-age path like Berry, we have a killer core exercise from her trainer, Nat Bardonnet, who you may have seen doing high-five planks with the mom of two in an Insta post a few months ago. (Clearly that’s another one of the pair’s favorite middle-whittling moves.)

“Mission: Score Halle Berry’s Core” has officially begun…

The move: The Rocky. “It targets all of your abs—mid, low, and obliques—to lengthen your core, with beautiful definition,” says Bardonnet. Do 3 sets, performing as many reps as possible within a minute, 3 times a week to score a tighter core in about 5 weeks.

Photo: Getty Images

How to do it: Lie faceup on a bench, hands gripping it, with legs together and raised to 90 degrees so feet are toward ceiling. (No bench? Stretch out on the floor, anchoring yourself by holding on to a solid piece of furniture.) Use core strength to lift butt off the bench (A). Slowly lower it down, followed by legs, bringing to about a 30-degree angle (B). Keep lower back pressed firmly into the bench. Raise legs up, returning to start.

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The FDA Encourages New Treatments for Sickle Cell Disease

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Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States. It affects about 100,000 children and adults in the United States and millions of people worldwide.

New treatments are needed to prevent and treat its serious complications. That’s why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with patients and stakeholders, including academics and those from the pharmaceutical industry, to help.

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What Is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease affects millions of people worldwide and is particularly common among people with ancestors from sub-Saharan Africa; Spanish-speaking regions in the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 3 million Americans, including one in 13 African Americans, carry the sickle cell trait, the gene that can potentially allow the disease to be passed on to their children. A baby born with sickle cell disease must inherit a SCD gene from each parent. Babies born in the United States are typically screened at birth for SCD.

People with the disease have “sickled” or abnormally shaped red blood cells that get stuck in small blood vessels and block the flow of blood and oxygen to major organs in the body. These blockages can cause severe pain, organ damage, or even stroke. Other complications include vulnerability to infection, fatigue, and delayed growth.

SCD is chronic and its severity varies. Most people with the disease will have shortened lifespans.

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How Is Sickle Cell Disease Treated?

Until recently, patients with SCD only had one drug treatment option: hydroxyurea, which the FDA approved in 1998. This medication helps red blood cells to stay round and flexible, which can help reduce complications. Common side effects of hydroxyurea include low blood counts, gastrointestinal symptoms, and loss of appetite.

In July 2017, the FDA approved Endari (L-glutamine oral powder) to reduce acute complications of sickle cell disease, including the frequency of sudden, severe attacks of pain (called sickle cell crises). This product is for patients age 5 and older and is the first new treatment in nearly 20 years. Common side effects of Endari include constipation, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, cough, pain in the extremities, back pain, and chest pain.

But treatments are still limited.

Bone marrow or stem cell transplants may be an option for younger patients with severe SCD. But serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can accompany these expensive procedures. These transplants also require finding a matching bone marrow or stem cell donor, which can be difficult. So most people cannot receive these transplants.

Blood transfusions can treat anemia, a common complication of SCD. Patients often receive transfusions regularly and over the long-term to prevent complications.

“The majority of patients with SCD are treated with hydroxyurea, pain medication, and chronic blood transfusions and are hospitalized when crises occur,” explains Ann T. Farrell, M.D., director of the FDA’s Division of Hematology Products within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“Unfortunately, some treated patients will have no reduction of their symptoms and the disease will continue to progress,” Farrell adds. “Better therapies are desperately needed.”

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How Is the FDA Encouraging New Treatments?

Working with stakeholders

The FDA continues to work with stakeholders—including patients, academics and companies developing treatments—to improve therapeutic options for people living with SCD.

A growing number of new products are in the pipeline, and researchers are exploring new treatment approaches. “These potential treatments are in different stages of development, including early and late clinical trials,” Farrell says. (Clinical trials are voluntary human research studies designed to answer specific questions about the safety and effectiveness of potential new treatments—or to study new ways of using existing treatments.)

Companies developing sickle cell products can ask the FDA to grant a “fast track” designation, a type of regulatory status that seeks to bring new products to market faster. “This allows for early and more frequent interactions with the FDA to discuss any issues that come up during development, such as manufacturing and trial design,” Farrell explains.

If preliminary data show potential promise over existing therapies, companies also can request “breakthrough therapy designation” to speed the development and review of products.

The FDA also can encourage the development of new SCD treatments by giving certain drugs and biological products “orphan status.” (This designation is possible for products intended to treat rare diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States per year. These sponsors can qualify for incentives like tax credits and marketing exclusivity.)

Because SCD is a global issue, the FDA encourages the pharmaceutical industry to develop treatments internationally. Now, companies are conducting clinical trials not only in the United States, but also in Europe and Africa.

Meeting with patients

The FDA also has met with patients to learn more about their experiences with SCD.

“Learning the patient perspective—what symptoms bother them the most and where they would like to see treatments to focus—is important in the development of new therapies,” Farrell explains. “In the past, patients said the symptoms that matter most to them in terms of their disease are acute and chronic pain, stroke, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Patients also said they are willing to participate in clinical trials to identify new treatments.”

Looking ahead

The FDA’s Division of Hematology Products considers the development of new sickle cell disease treatments a priority.

“We will continue to work with sponsors as much as possible to help remove roadblocks to new product development,” Farrell says. “We feel for these patients because they have to live with the devastating consequences of this chronic condition. It’s important for the FDA to help as much as we can.”

This article appears on the FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Updated: September 20, 2017

Published: October 14, 2014

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Could Certain Fatty Foods Be Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer?

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — What men eat — particularly fatty meats and cheese — may affect how quickly their prostate cancer progresses, a new study suggests.

“We show that high dietary saturated fat content is associated with increased prostate cancer aggressiveness,” said study author Emma Allott, a research assistant professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina.

“This may suggest that limiting dietary saturated fat content, which we know is important for overall health and cardiovascular disease prevention, may also have a role in prostate cancer,” she said in a school news release.

However, the study did not prove that diet directly affects prostate cancer behavior, only that there is a link between those factors.

The researchers looked at more than 1,800 men from North Carolina and Louisiana. All had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2009. They were asked about their eating habits and other factors at the time of their diagnosis.

Higher intake of saturated fat from foods such as fatty beef and cheese was linked with more aggressive prostate cancer, the researchers found.

A diet high in saturated fat contributes to higher cholesterol levels, researchers said. They noted that the link between saturated fat and aggressive prostate cancer was weaker in men who took cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

The researchers said that suggests that statins reduce, but don’t completely reverse, the effect that high amounts of saturated fat may have on prostate cancer.

The study also found that higher levels of polyunsaturated fats, found in foods such as fish and nuts, were associated with less aggressive prostate cancer.

Further research is needed to learn more about why a diet high in saturated fat is linked with more aggressive prostate cancer, Allott said.

The researchers presented their findings April 18 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in New Orleans. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on prostate cancer.


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Walsall Council seeks partner for running New Art Gallery

University of Wolverhampton is in talks with council
Jonathan Knott, 13.09.2017

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Museums “struggling” to recover Nazi-looted art

Conference recommends countries fund dedicated researchers
Jonathan Knott, 13.09.2017

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Grants and bursaries available for Manchester 2017

Help of up to £1,000 to attend conference
Patrick Steel, 13.09.2017

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30-Minute Barre Workout to Tone Up Your Thighs

This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.

A leaner, more toned physique isn’t the only incentive for building stronger thighs. Strengthening your muscles in front (quadriceps), back (hamstrings) and in between (adductors) is key to walking and running with ease, and jumping and squatting with power. Rock solid thighs will also provide a solid foundation for movement in any plane — for everyday and athletic feats.

But if you’re tired of standard squats and lunges, stepping up to the barre can help give your lower half the TLC it needs. Becca Pace, lead trainer for Daily Burn’s Barre Harmony program, says, “Barre workouts allow the smaller muscle groups [like the inner thighs] to fire up and engage.” Barre’s signature lengthening and strengthening pulses and pliés target the thighs like no other. And we’re combining six of Pace’s favorites into one muscle-torching thigh workout. If your legs start to shake, that means your thighs are really working.

RELATED: Barre Harmony: Total-Body Barre Workout You Can Do at Home

6 Barre Exercises for a 30-Minute Thigh Workout

Using a chair that’s about hip height, do 10-15 reps of each of the six moves below. Repeat for two to three rounds. “Higher reps of more intricate exercises tests muscle endurance and builds strength and flexibility without putting pressure on the joints,” Pace explains.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

1. Second Position Plié with Relevé

For this classic barre move, Pace says when you’re bending your knees in plié, press the outer edge of your feet down and pull your knees back to prevent them from falling in.

How to: Stand behind a chair with your feet in second position (feet slightly wider than hips-width with your toes turned out at 45 degrees), hands resting lightly on top of the chair. Roll your shoulders back and tilt your pelvis forward so your hips are in a neutral position (a). Sit into a grand plié squat with your hips in line with your knees, and then lift your heels off the ground in relevé (b). Squeezing your glutes, bring your heels back down to the ground and do a demi-plié before standing back up (c). This is one rep.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

2. Reverse Lunge to Passé Combo

This lunge combo tests your hip mobility and balance. “When you’re going to passé, press firmly on your front foot and push off the ball of the back foot to bring your toes to the inner knee of the front leg,” she says.

How to: Stand parallel to a chair on your right side with your feet in first position (heels together and toes turned out to 45 degrees) (a). Take a step back with your left foot and sink into a reverse lunge. Then, bring your left foot back to first position (b). With your left foot pointed, tap it to your left side and then come up to relevé on both feet. Lift your left knee bent out to the side, and with your left toes pointed, touch your right knee in a passé position (c). This is one rep. Do 10-15 reps before switching sides.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

3. Curtsy Lunge Pulse

Be sure to evenly distribute weight in each foot when you’re in a curtsy lunge. “Aim both hips forward like headlights and wrap inner thighs toward one another, like magnets,” Pace says.

How to: Stand behind a chair with your feet hip-width apart, hands lightly resting on top of the chair (a). Step your left foot behind you to your right side and lower your body into a demi-plié (half-squat) (b). Lift your arms up overhead in third position and pulse your legs for 10-15 reps before switching sides (c).

RELATED: Barre Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Barre Workouts

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

4. Tuck in Demi-Plié with Relevé

Imagine leaning your back against a wall when you’re positioning your body for this move. Your back should remain in neutral throughout the entire movement. Pace says to pull your belly button up toward your ribs to activate your core.

How to: Stand behind a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Place a rolled up towel between your thighs, just above your knees, and squeeze them together tightly (a). Engaging your abs, tilt your pelvis slightly forward with your tailbone pointed down. Bring your heels up up to relevé (b). Squeezing your thighs and glutes, demi-plié up and down for 10-15 reps before lowering your feet back down to the ground (c).

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

5. Inner Thigh Lift

As you lift your bottom leg, be sure not to shift your hips forward or back, and keep your core activated as you lower it back down, Pace says.

How to: Lie on your right side on a mat with your left leg stacked over your right leg. Cross your left leg over your right, planting your left foot firmly on the floor on your side and lying your head down on your right arm (a). Keeping your right foot pointed, lift your right leg off the ground and then bring it back down. This is one rep. You should start to feel the burn in your right inner thigh (b). Do 10-15 reps before switching sides (c).

RELATED: 5 Butt-Sculpting Exercises from Barre Harmony

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

6. Rainbow

While this exercise is meant to work your thighs, your obliques will get some lovin’, too, in order to keep your hips square. “Try to avoid the hips lifting and dipping, but instead, continue to point them down,” Pace says.

How to: Get in a tabletop position with your hands right under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Bring your right leg out to the side with your knee straight (a). Keeping your hips square and engaging your abs, sweep your right leg up and over to the left side, so you create a rainbow with your leg. Bring your right leg back to the starting position. This is one rep (b). Do 10-15 reps and then switch sides.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by Daily Burn.

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