Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life

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Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life
By: Lindsey Bohmbach; (Bio 2010-Spring2013)

The Body Worlds exhibit was an amazing tour of more than 200 incredible plastinates; real human specimens that have been preserved. Dr. von Hagen’s is the man behind his incredible invention called plastination; embalming and anatomical dissection, connective tissue removal, body fat and water removal, forced impregnation with a polymer solution then placed in a vacuum chamber removing the acetone bringing it down to a cellular level, and then lastly the specimen hardens and is then positioned as desired. This phenomenal exhibit has given many people the opportunity to see the entire internal structure of the human body. The written explanations next to each display were very informative; giving a better understanding on how the choices we make throughout our life can truly affect us as we continue our journey through the aging process. According to Dr. von Hagen, it takes approximately 1,500 hours (1-2 years) of dedication for each sculpture, along with 350 others helping him throughout the process. All 20 of the bodies that have been donated remain anonymous; no details about them or their cause of death were shared out of respect for each of the donors. This exhibit was an amazing journey showing us how the human body changes through time; from conception and as one age’s. The exhibit starts with the zygote; a single cell formed from the father’s sperm, the mother’s egg, and the human genome; the blueprints of all living human beings. Human embryos and fetuses were on display showing each stage of cell division from conception through pre-natal development. The minute were born, our physical efficiency increases reaching its peak in our mid-twenties, then slowly starts to decline throughout the rest of our lives. There were normal clean lungs of a non-smoker on display next to black lungs of a smoker, which were half the size compared to the clean lung. The written...
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