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BODY WORLDS 3 & The Story of the Heart Opens at the California Science Center, March 14, 2008
Date:1/17/2008

eet, will be among the largest exhibits ever presented at the Science Center.

Created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 3 is the result of the German scientist and physician's three decade long research and development endeavors in Plastination science. BODY WORLDS 3 presents specimens, both organs and whole-bodies, that have undergone Plastination --- von Hagens' groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving the body after death for medical study, which he invented in 1977. Dr. von Hagens says that this exhibition captures the evolution and refinement of his invention.

The Process of Plastination

During Plastination, all bodily fluids and soluble fats are replaced with reactive resins and elastomers such as silicon rubber and epoxy, through a vacuum process. After gas, heat, or light curing, the specimens assume rigidity and permanence. "The purpose of Plastination from its very inception was a scientific one, to educate medical students," said Dr. Gunther von Hagens. "But the interest that laypeople had in the plastinated specimens inspired me to think of creating public exhibitions, which was followed by the realization that I had to offer a heightened sense of aesthetics, to avoid shocking the public and to capture their imagination."

The whole-body plastinates in BODY WORLDS 3 are comprised of people who, in their lifetime, donated their bodies for Plastination and the express purpose of educating future generations about health.

"BODY WORLDS 3 is collaboration, a joint quest toward enlightenment between donor, anatomist and visitor," says Dr. Gunther von Hagens. Nearly 25 million visitors in more than 40 cities across Asia, Europe, and North America have viewed these exhibits since the first one debuted in Japan in 1996, and more than 8,000 donors, including over 700 Americans, have bequeathed their bodies to von Hagens' Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany.

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SOURCE California Science Center
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