What is the point of this exhibit?
Through the specimens on display, visitors will gain profound insights into the structure and function of healthy and unhealthy bodies in a way that is not possible elsewhere on such a comprehensive scale.will stimulate curiosity and interest in science learning.
What’s the point of using real human bodies? Why does the public need to see this exhibit?
Real human bodies teach visitors about their own bodies. When people understand more about how their bodies work and how they can break down, they are empowered to take a more active role in their own health choices.
How are the specimens made?
The specimens inare created by a process called Plastination, where the fluids in the body are replaced with plastics like silicone rubber, polymers and resins to permanently preserve specimens. Check here for more information about Plastination.
What is Plastination?
Invented by scientist and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977, Plastination is the groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving anatomical specimens for scientific and medical education. Plastination is the process of extracting all bodily fluids and soluble fat from specimens, replacing them through vacuum forced impregnation with reactive resins and elastomers, and then curing them with light, heat, or certain gases, which give the specimens rigidity and permanence.
Are they real bodies?
Yes, the specimens inare real human bodies, preserved though Plastination.
Why are they real human bodies? Why not use models of other materials?
Real human bodies show the details of disease, physiology and anatomy that cannot be shown with models. They also allow us to understand how each body has its own unique features, even on the inside. Visitors are drawn to real specimens in a way that they are not to plastic models.
Are they gross anatomical specimens like the ones seen in an anatomy lab?
Plastinated specimens are dry and odorless and retain their natural structure – in fact, they are identical to their pre-preservation state down to the microscopic level.
What do they look like?
Theplastinates are as life-like as possible through current preservation techniques. The specimens show the intricacies of the human body from within. They look as you would look without your skin!
Where do the bodies come from?
The specimens in theexhibition come from the Institute for Plastination’s body-donor program. The body donation program was established by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1983, shortly after he invented Plastination. The program is now managed by Dr. von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany. All donors are adults who gave their consent, during their lifetimes, to use their bodies for Plastination and specifically for the exhibits. Independent ethicists have reviewed the Institute for Plastination’s donor program and protocols and verified that the specimens were properly donated for the purpose of public exhibition. The Institute for Plastination has more than 9,000 donors on its roster, and more than 900 of them are Americans.
I’ve heard about other body exhibits. Why is The Buffalo Museum of Science hosting this one?
Theexhibits stand apart in many ways. Unlike other “copycat exhibits,” ’ specimens were properly acquired through body donations. It was imperative for the Buffalo Museum of Science to know the origin of the bodies and to see donor documentation verifying that specimens were properly donated for the purpose of public exhibition. The exhibits are unparalleled in quality and refinement and were created by the inventor of Plastination, Dr. Gunther von Hagens. The Buffalo Museum of Science chose because Dr. von Hagens is one of the most respected anatomists in the scientific community and contains by far the best anatomical exhibits ever produced.
Why are they posed like that?
The plastinates are posed to emphasize certain systems of the body. Athletic poses highlight specific muscle groups in the body, and organs may be arranged so that visitors can see their relationships to the rest of the body.
Why aren’t they wearing clothes?
The plastinates are posed without clothing and skin to give the best teaching opportunity for visitors to see the inside of the human body.
Are they life size?
Since the specimens come from human donors, they are fully life size. Everything is to scale.
What kinds of things do people learn from the exhibit?
Many people gain a greater appreciation for their own bodies—the intricacies and needs of their muscles, respiratory systems, circulatory system and so forth. Others learn about the differences between healthy and diseased organs, and still others are able to see the interdependence of the body’s systems. Many visitors come away from the experience with a greater appreciation for their bodies, and a strong commitment to taking care of them.
Will the exhibit make sense to someone without medical training?
is designed for all visitors, regardless of their medical training levels. We especially welcome visitors from medical and health fields, and we welcome their expertise in viewing and interpreting the specimens.
Can I donate my body to?
Yes. Donor information cards will be available at the end of the exhibit. You may also find more information about body donation at www.bodyworlds.com.
Do I have to donate if I want to see the exhibit?
No! It is enough for us to know that you have enjoyed your experience at. No donations necessary
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