Posts Tagged ‘Plastination’

Body Worlds is Back

In 2007 The Tech Museum hosted Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds 2 and The Three-Pound Gem. His Science of Plastination* exhibition gave us a comprehensive view of the human body. Where else could one get such a close-up look into the world of bone, muscle, tissue, the heart, blood vessels, tendons, nerves, and the brain?

When I tell people about this exhibit, I am often asked if I find it repulsive. I reply that Body Worlds is, in fact, a beautiful learning experience that invokes a greater appreciation of life.

Anyone contemplating buying a pack of cigarettes needs to see the lung of a smoker placed next to that of a non-smoker.

The next amazing set of Gunther von Hagens’ works, Body Worlds Vital, is now showing at The Tech Museum.

Many cities are considering banning the toy included with high fat fast food meals. Congress, following Mrs. Obamas’ lead, is attempting to legislate what school children will be allowed to consume. From the health concerns of graying baby boomers to the recent emphasis on childhood obesity, Body Worlds Vital could be a valuable starting point helping all ages take control of their own health.

Included with the body specimens are photos from around the world depicting the food consumed by typical families in a week. (I noted that the Indian cuisine looked among the most healthful.)

Body Worlds relies on IfP (the Institute for Plastination), an established body donation program for the authentic human bodies on display. No fees are required for a donation, and the donors will not receive any money. As far as I can tell, the only cost incurred is when the next of kin must pay a transportation fee to have the body sent to the IfP embalming facility.

For a list of rules and conditions for donating your body please contact:
Gail Hamburg at (312) 602-5369 or g.hamburg@plastination.com

*Plastination is where all bodily fluids and soluble fat from donated anatomical specimens are extracted to stop decomposition, and replaced through vacuum-forced impregnation with reactive resins and elastomers, such as silicon rubber and epoxy that harden with gas, light, or heat curing, giving the specimens rigidity and permanence. Some bodies are positioned to recreate a moment in time. Other donations may be used as Plastinated slices for research.

brain - dark area indicating a stroke

Body Worlds Vital – check here for Exhibit Hours and Tickets

The Tech Museum

201 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 294-8324

The Human Body in the Hackworth IMAX Theater : The Human Body Trailer

Body Worlds flickr set

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