News.com: Plastination Exhibit
|The Body Worlds exhibit at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, through Jan. 23, delves into "plastination," a process for preserving cadavers to better represent the structures of the human body. The traveling show has sparked controversy for some of its more graphic portrayals.
Plastination was invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens at the Institute for Anatomy at Heidelberg University in 1977. Most plastinated bodies have been donated by people who declared while living that they want to advance human knowledge.
The exhibit includes about 200 "plastinates," including individual organs, body parts, transparent slices and whole body plastinates. It travels next to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, where it will go on display starting Feb. 4.
In plastination, reactive polymers (such as silicone rubber, epoxy resins or polyester) replace water and fat content and then harden to retain tissue structures. For a full body, the process takes about 1,500 hours...