Bodies: the Exhibition Blog

You Gotta Have Heart

If you are over 50, you might remember this song, “You Gotta Have Heart” from the popular Broadway musical Damn Yankees. The story is about a long-suffering baseball fan of the now defunct Washington Senators who it seems would do anything, even sell his soul, to beat those DAMN YANKEES. The word HEART in this instance is all about courage, about having the will to carry on even in the face of almost certain defeat. But mention the word HEART to medical professionals, and I am certain they would undoubtedly think you are referring to that four-chambered, blood-pumping, life-sustaining muscular organ found in the center of the chest, that beats relentlessly every second, of every minute of every hour of every day for as long as you live. In February, it is appropriate that we take a closer look at this vital 300 gram (10.5 ounce) muscular organ, not only because of Valentine’s Day, but because February is National Heart Awareness Month. In light of this, some appropriate questions to ask yourself this month are:

1) How is my heart doing?

2) Am I taking good care of my heart?

3) Am I familiar with the most common causes of heart disease?

Considering how important the heart is, it is not unusual to find references to it all around us.  Just walk down the cereal aisle of your favorite supermarket and you will find Heart Smart cereal on the shelf. Visit any drug store and you will find aspirin bottles prominently displaying the picture of a heart on their label. In addition, we have all seen ads for treadmills, read articles on stress management and been told not to smoke, all with a focus on heart-healthy living. And who can overlook the emphasis placed on eating a proper diet, one that includes heart-friendly items such as whole grains, salmon, nuts, berries, beans/lentils (legumes) and, believe it or not, broccoli. These, along with a regular exercise regimen, have been shown to be the most important ways to protect your heart from developing one of those all too common heart attacks. So, how are you doing? Is your heart benefiting from the important lifestyle choices you are making each and every day? One of the best times to find that out is by having a yearly physical where your blood pressure is taken and a sample of your blood is tested. The numbers reported from both will give you important indications as to how your heart is doing. For example, at rest your blood pressure numbers should be in the range of 120‑140 over 70‑90. Pressures higher than this results in what is commonly referred to as hypertension, a condition that has been shown to be a major risk factor in heart disease. And keeping your cholesterol in check is also very important to your heart’s health. That is why doctors pay so much attention to your LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) blood numbers. Ideally, what you want is for your HDL number to be high and your LDL number to be low. Again, when these numbers are out of whack, the risk of developing heart disease increases significantly. But do not be discouraged, heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are manageable, primarily through diet, regular exercise and taking prescribed drugs, such as statins to control cholesterol and beta-blockers to control normal heart rhythm. The bottom line is that Heart Smarts are essential to keeping this muscular organ strong and functioning normally. So, why not spend the month of February reacquainting yourself with your “ticker”? Who knows, your life might just depend on it!


On Guard - EBOLA

These two words say it all when it comes to dealing with the latest virulent (bitterly hostile) virus that has now arrived, uninvited, in the United States. Everyone who reads, watches or listens to the news knows exactly what we’re talking about; EBOLA. This virus has a history of dealing out death and destruction around the world. It takes its name from the Ebola River, the second longest river in Africa, where it was first discovered. Ebola first arrived on the seen in 1976 when two simultaneous outbreaks occurred in the Sudan and the Congo. During this first epidemic hundreds of people lost their lives.

So why is Ebola virus so life threatening? After all it doesn’t look dangerous at all, most often resembling a short thread with many different shapes, sometimes said to resemble pigtails or a “shepherds crook”.

However, as we know from past experience, looks can be deceiving. Ebola damages the body because of a surface protein molecule that forms a part of its structure and is critical for its entry into human cells. This protein, often referred to as a spike protein, also prevents the cells they infect from triggering the bodies immune system thus countering an immune response designed to attack and destroy the virus.


Because of this immune deficiency, once the virus enters a person’s body it most often causes an infection that damages the blood clotting cells of the body, resulting in severe coagulation abnormalities. It also damages and destroys the cells that line the body’s blood vessels (endothelium). Both of these lead to the uncontrollable internal and external bleeding that gives the resulting disease its more scientific name, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. And the bleeding can be extensive involving the stomach, intestines, the lining of the nose and mouth and even the eyes. It is this uncontrolled bleeding that leads to blood and fluid loss (dehydration), resulting in a reduction in blood flow, a severe lowering of blood pressure and eventual death in more than 80% of infected patients.


How does one get Ebola? Interestingly the virus isn’t as contagious as the more common viruses like colds the flu or even measles. It is believed that the virus was first introduced into the human population by contact with the skin or bodily fluids of an infected animal, like a monkey, chimpanzee, gorillas or fruit bat. It then moves from person to person the same way, via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids. The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.

Unfortunately there is very little a person can do about Ebola. There are however three important things that everyone should be aware of: 1) Understand how the disease is spread, 2) Avoid areas in which infections have been reported and suspected and 3) Avoid direct contact with infected people.

Eat Them. They’re Good for You!

Do you remember hearing your parents or grandparents telling you this at mealtime: ‘Eat them. They’re good for you.’? It was all about eating right, especially your vegetables and not so much meant for punishment. Most often children don’t like eating vegetables, and will fight it to the bitter end. What children don’t understand is that nutrients reside in the small, invisible chemicals in food – chemicals that nourish the body and promote great health and wellness. Since March is National Nutrition Month (sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) it’s about time to get ‘up close and personal’ with these life promoting chemicals.

Just how many nutrients reside in the food you eat? There are actually countless amounts of them but they all belong to one of six basic categories: carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. They can also be divided into two major groups: non-essential and essential.

Non-essential nutrients like glucose, cholesterol and vitamin D are not insignificant to our health, but since the cells of your body can make them they are rarely in short supply. Essential nutrients are extremely critical because your body cannot make them in adequate amounts. So you must rely on your diet to ensure you take in enough of them, and that is where vegetables come into the picture. You simply cannot find another food group that is as perfectly matched to your body’s everyday essential needs.

Vegetables fit us like a glove because they contain nutrients from each of the six basic categories, and those nutrients cannot be duplicated by any other food group. Being so low in calories, it is impossible to gain weight by eating too many of them. They are high in fiber and rich sources of B-complex and C vitamins – vitamins that your body cannot store. That is why so many health care experts encourage everyone to eat at least 3-5 servings of vegetables every day.

Vegetables are nutritious for your body in other ways too. They contain no cholesterol, which potentially lowers the risk of heart disease. Also, they help to maintain healthy blood pressure, and are important for proper bowel function. They help form red blood cells, keep your eyes and skin healthy, protect against infection, heal cuts and wounds, and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Because vegetables contain so many health benefits it’s important that you remain persistent in your efforts to eat them. Hopefully, the next time you’re introduced to a helping of vegetables, you won’t turn your back on them. Your body will have many reasons to thank you for making such an essential decision. So, eat them! They’re good for you.

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United States Presidents and Their Health

Many Americans often only see one side of their president – calm, poised, well-spoken and well-mannered. However, presidents often have ailments, mysteries and personal issues to adhere – a side not often seen by the American people. Whether it be something minor like chronic headaches or more serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes, many presidents in the United States suffered from at least some sort of health-related illness.

For example, did you know that President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) was prone to emotional and physical difficulties? He suffered from failing eyesight, chronic headaches, bleeding in his lungs and much more. He even had pain from two separate instances that both involved bullet wounds. President Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) lived much of his life with obesity, nephritis and gout; while President William Taft suffered from sleep apnea (due to his large size) and high blood pressure. It wasn’t until President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) was in office, that the 25th Amendment was issued stating that the vice president would resume responsibilities upon the president’s disability, resignation or death. Wilson had a multitude of health issues including headaches, hypertension and double vision. He also suffered from several strokes that left him blind in one eye and eventually paralyzed him. Though he was forced into a wheelchair, he was able to keep his paralysis a secret for some time. Though after it was discovered, the 25th Amendment was soon created.

Many other presidents suffered from a plethora of medical illnesses and diseases. Addison’s disease, polio, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s and Graves’ disease are just a few of the additional illnesses from which U.S. presidents writhed. Though many of these illnesses are easily treated or managed with proper care and medication, it shows that while dignified and professional on the outside you never know what our presidents are battling internally. Whether you choose to honor them all on Presidents’ Day or just a particular favorite, remember that they’ve all diligently served our country despite their internal struggles.

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Keep Moving Forward

Inspired by Sam Berns and his battle with Progeria - #prfsam


The remarkable journey of a young man’s life with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, began at the tender age of just 22 months old. Born on Oct. 23, 1996 in Providence, RI, Sam Berns became an inspiration for his parents, Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, to learn more about the genetic disease that was so limited in information. Together they created the Progeria Research Foundation in hopes of discovering treatments to slow down its progression and eventually find a cure.

The fatal genetic condition is the result of a mutation in a gene called LMNA, and causes children to age rapidly, eventually causing heart attacks and strokes. It also drastically changes their appearance while leaving their intellect intact. Unfortunately similar to many adults in their 60s and 70s, children with Progeria often pass away from heart disease. With the disease affecting just one in 4 – 8 million newborns throughout the world, the Berns family set out to raise awareness.

Their passion for educating others about the disease lead the Berns family to star in an HBO documentary “Life According to Sam.” In it, Sam and his parents share what life is like with Progeria, and how the love and strength of a family can overcome life’s obstacles. The documentary chronicles Sam’s life at just 13 years old (the average age in which most children with Progeria pass away), as he inspires the world with his true spirit and bravery.

The genetic disease recently gained even more awareness with the sad passing of Sam Berns on Jan. 10, 2014 at his home. People all over the world have shared in mourning his loss, and remembering the inspirational legacy he leaves behind. One part of that legacy is his philosophy on life which he shared at the Oct. 2013 TEDxMidAtlantic event. A portion of his philosophy was the phrase ‘keep moving forward,’ by which he bravely lived his life, and by which we can only assume his parents and the Progeria Research Foundation will continue to do as well.

To learn more about Progeria and for ways you can help spread awareness visit

Six Going on Sixty: The Appearance of Rapid Aging with Progeria Syndrome

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Summertime Sun Safety

As warmer months come into full swing, more people are spending their time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. Though a healthy amount of sunshine is great for the body, too much can have adverse effects on your health.

Prolonged, unprotected sun exposure can cause problems like heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration. These complications can cause certain areas of the body to shut down when left untreated or improperly diagnosed. Further permanent damage can also result from prolonged exposure like cataracts, wrinkles, sun spots and cancer. Even damage to the skin like sunburns can cause internal complications to the body’s nervous, glandular, circulatory and immune systems. In addition, diseases like chicken pox and herpes simplex (cold sores), and lupus and other genetic problems can worsen with sun exposure.

  • Did you know the body’s best defence against wrinkles is sunscreen?
  • Did you know that the sun produces more UVB’s in summer months, and that high dose accounts for 70% of a person’s yearly UVB dose?
  • Did you know that 10-15 minutes of full-body sun exposure every other day is enough to produce all the vitamin D necessary to promote good bone health?

BODIES...The Exhibition is bringing facts like these and much more to light by sharing information to promote sun safety at Exhibitions in Atlanta and Las Vegas during the summer months. Both Exhibitions will provide additional content to their exhibits featuring information on the adverse effects of not protecting your body against sun exposure.

BODIES...The Exhibition at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA will host an event on July 13, 2013 featuring Dr. Sulochana Bhandarkar, assistant professor of dermatology at Emory University School of Medicine as the guest speaker at 1 p.m. Following her 30-minute presentation, Dr. Bhandarkar will be available for questions from audience members. The event is free with paid admission to the Exhibition. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit:

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Buena Park Welcomes Its Fifth Attraction On Beach Blvd - Titanic & Bodies Exhibitions Slated To Open This Summer

Buena Park Welcomes Its Fifth Attraction On Beach Blvd - Titanic & Bodies Exhibitions Slated To Open This Summer


Buena Park, CA — The City of Buena Park has leased the historic Movieland Wax Museum site on Beach Boulevard to Premier Exhibitions, Inc. About 40,000 square feet of the property will be used to display their extraordinary Exhibitions, Bodies… The Exhibition and Titanic The Experience.

This is a great day for Buena Park,” stated Mayor Elizabeth Swift. “This amazing new attraction will significantly increase visitors to our entertainment area, create dozens of jobs, and generate revenue into our local economy.” Both Exhibits are scheduled to open Summer 2013.

“As the industry leader in museum quality Exhibitions, Premier Exhibitions is thrilled to partner with the City of Buena Park bringing our blockbuster Titanic and Bodies Exhibitions to this expanding tourist market,” said Samuel S. Weiser, CEO and President of Premier Exhibitions, Inc. “Over 40 million visitors around the world have experienced our Titanic and Bodies exhibits, and we are confident that our transformation of the former Movieland Wax Museum site on Beach Boulevard will improve the diversity and quality of the entertainment options available to Buena Park visitors. We believe this endeavor is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long and successful relationship between Premier and the city of Buena Park.”


Titanic The Experience
 is an unprecedented opportunity to travel back in time and experience the wonder and tragedy of the world’s most famous ocean-liner, Titanic. Visitors are guided through the interactive Exhibition by trained actors in period costume that will portray Titanic notables such as Captain Smith and Margaret Brown. The Exhibition will feature authentic artifacts that have been recovered from the wreck site of Titanic, 2.5 miles beneath the ocean surface. These amazing objects, once thought to be lost forever, along with authentic recreations of some of the most famous rooms on board Titanic, will offer visitors an educational, emotional and poignant look at this iconic Ship and its passengers.


Bodies...The Exhibition offers an intimate and informative view into the human body. Using an innovative preservation process, the Exhibition allows visitors to see the human body's inner beauty in educational and awe-inspiring ways. The Exhibition will feature over 200 actual human bodies and specimens meticulously dissected and respectfully displayed, offering an unprecedented and wholly unique view into the amazing body

With thrilling attractions, interactive dining experiences, and plenty of shopping options, Buena Park offers fun on just about every corner. A vacation hot spot, the lively city of Buena Park is located just five miles west of Disneyland and home to world famous entertainment - including the nation’s first theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm, Soak City USA, Pirates Dinner Adventure, and Medieval Times. Come and experience for yourself why Buena Park attracts millions of visitors each year. With its warm weather, family-friendly environment and world famous attractions, you don’t have to look for it because fun finds you in Buena Park. For more information please contact Visit Buena Park at 800-541-3953 or

The California Welcome Center –Orange County offers personal, concierge-style service to all visitors, including free travel brochures, maps and directions, computer and internet access, hotel reservations, and discounted attraction tickets including LA Go Cards. The center is open 7 days a week 9 am to 5 pm at 6601 Beach Boulevard in Buena Park. Call 800-541-3953 or

Premier Exhibitions, Inc.
Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (Nasdaq:PRXI), located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a leading presenter of museum quality exhibitions throughout the world. Premier is a recognized leader in developing and displaying unique exhibitions for education and entertainment including Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, BODIES...The Exhibition, Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, and Real Pirates in partnership with National Geographic . The success of Premier Exhibitions, Inc. lies in its ability to produce, manage, and market exhibitions. Additional information about Premier Exhibitions, Inc. is available at the Company's web site

Contact Information:

Sara Copping, Executive Director
Visit Buena Park 
(800) 541-3953

Theresa Nelson, Director of Public Relations 
Premier Exhibitions, Inc. 
(404) 842-7747

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With the help of MedicWest, the 600-pound heart will be escorted down The Strip by four ambulances today,  Friday, Feb. 1, and delivered to the lobby of Luxor where it will stay on display throughout the month.  The 13-foot-long, 7-foot-wide and 12-foot-high heart will be met by Amanda Daniels, spokesperson for the American Heart Association, and more than 100 students from Cheyenne High School. Daniels was diagnosed with heart disease as a teen and will share her personal testimony with the group before joining them on their tour of the Exhibition.  In the hopes of catching any heart-related health issues early, MedicWest is providing complimentary Blood Pressure and Blood Glucose screenings to all exhibition guests from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


“Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States – it knows no boundaries and it doesn't discriminate,” said Daniels. “I was diagnosed with heart disease during my senior year of high school and the fear of dropping dead or undergoing a heart transplant consumed every part of me.  Rather than giving up and succumbing to my disease, I fought!  Today, despite being told it may never be the case, I am a mother of two and a survivor living with heart disease.”

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BODIES...Holiday Treats

Roasted chestnuts, sugar plums and figgy pudding make up our Christmas carols and holiday “visions”,  but are not the easiest to find in the your local supermarket.

So what exactly are these treats so synonymous with December and are they healthy? Our Chief Medical Expert, Dr. Roy Glover, weighs in…


Who Is Roasting Chestnuts On An Open Fire?:


With Jack Frost biting at our nose, there is something comforting about a few chestnuts roasting. The great news is that this extremely healthy treat is high in carbohydrates and very low in fat.  Similar to wheat and brown rice, chestnuts contain a high quality protein and no cholesterol. So whether they are roasted, added to soups, stews, or ice cream feel free to enjoy throughout the season and beyond.

Is a Sugar Plum Fairy Edible?:


Tchaikovsky’s primo-ballerinas all vie to play one. In the Night Before Christmas, Clement Moore’s children have visions of them in their head–but with all of the sugarplum’s publicity what they are is often a mystery.

That’s because a sugar plum really isn’t a plum at all, in fact you would spend a lot of time in the produce section searching for it. Sugar plums are actually sweets made of sugar, dried fruits, almonds and honey, mixed together into a small round oval shape. They are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fiber but still considered a candy. So, if you have a sweet tooth, try one of these edible dragée delights they are a nice alternative to the candy cane.

How Do I Make My Pudding Figgy?:

Figgy Pudding is about as difficult to spot on Christmas Eve as Santa Clause Its disguise? Figgy Pudding is actually a cake. A relative of the fruit cake, but with figs and raisins, figgy pudding uses juices from fruit or even brandy after baking to give it a moist pudding-like consistency. The main source for creating this dessert is figs – which are rich in calcium, fiber, potassium, and believed, by health experts as an effective home remedy for bronchitis ailments and asthma when brewed as a tea.  However, figgy pudding is still a cake, so this old fashion desert is a great holiday tradition but moderation is key.

If you are concerned about your calorie intake, or eating too many desserts this season, these delectable treats are a nice alternative that provide some essential vitamins and nutrients for your body.

Everyone at BODIES…The Exhibition wishes you a safe, healthy and wonderful holiday season. We hope you can visit us soon and learn even more about YOU! For more information and tickets, visit:

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At the end of the year, it seems we are all looking for a little more time and energy. Even Santa needs a few extra calories to keep him going –we can all appreciate a diet of cookies and milk...

However, if we can’t have Santa’s magical good genes and need an extra kick, is there an alternative to gain some pep in our step?

Energy drinks’ popularity are on the rise- multiple brands claim that in less than two ounces you can have long lasting energy without the use of sugar or net carbs.

However, that zest has to come from somewhere… So what is the main ingredient? It’s Caffeine!



Caffeine ultimately stimulates the body’s adrenal glands to release the energy producing “fight-or-flight” chemical, adrenaline into the bloodstream.

Today scientists believe that the moderate consumption of caffeine involves no major health risks. Some have even suggested that caffeine may even provide a modest protective effect against some diseases, including certain types of cancer. However, it is also well known that caffeine can be toxic and at sufficiently high doses leading to disturbances of both the nervous system (brain) and cardiovascular system (heart).

However, there has been a rise in concern regarding the higher than normal caffeine content in these “monster drinks.” Recently it has been reported that these drinks have allegedly lead to the death of five individuals throughout the United States. Including a 14 year-old Maryland teenager, who died in December 2011 of heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), after drinking large cans of Monster Energy. Currently the parents of the teenager have filed a lawsuit against Monster Energy claiming the caffeine used in the company’s product “contributed to her death.”  Also, the FDA is currently investigating this case and in a recent interview with Bloomberg News said that they will continue “to evaluate the emerging science on a variety of ingredients, including caffeine…the agency is working on draft guidelines to ensure energy drink safety.”

Obviously, diet, exercise and a good night sleep are the best remedies…however we can appreciate finding a new source of supplemental energy. It is our hope that we will see better regulations on energy drinks and until then the old adage of “Everything in moderation” is the best advice to follow.


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