What lies beneath exhibit gives realistic look at human body – the blade eseva electricity bill payment


Dr. Angelina Whalley certainly doesn’t think so. It’s part of the reason the educational exhibits that she curates for museums and science centers feature actual human bodies and organs, preserved through a process known as plastination, rather than scale models or diagrams.

“If you walk through the exhibit, and see and feel that these are real specimens, it touches you emotionally,” she continued. “That makes a whole difference. You feel inclined to relate it to yourself. You feel that you are looking into your inner self – it’s a self-reflection without a mirror.”

Body Worlds Rx: Prescriptions for Healthy Living offers local residents this experience in its summer-long run at Imagination Station in Toledo. The exhibit, which opened Friday, uses whole-body plastinates, individual organs, and translucent cross-sections to illustrate the ways that anatomical systems function and the varied ways that common diseases can hamper them.

Body Worlds exhibits have drawn more than 44 million visitors in 115 cities around the world since Dr. Whalley and her husband, Dr. Gunther von Hagens, first introduced their plastinated specimens to the public in Tokyo in 1995. While at least one “copycat” exhibit showcasing preserved bodies and organs has made its way through Toledo in recent years, Body Worlds Rx is the first time that the couple, who pioneered plastination, have curated an exhibit locally.

Plastination essentially replaces water and lipids in human tissues with plastic polymers, hardening the specimens and protecting them from decay. The process was developed by Dr. von Hagens at Heidelberg University in Germany in 1977, and, within a decade, Dr. Baptista was referencing articles written by the pioneer to recreate it in the United States.

Dr. Baptista directs the University of Toledo Plastination Laboratory, which he said is among the largest in the U.S., and runs the university’s Liberato Didio and Peter Goldblatt Interactive Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, where students and community members, by appointment, can check out examples of plastinated specimens.

In the early years of Dr. von Hagens’ work in plastination, his wife, who began working with him in 1984, said he was using specimens as means of better educating university students. Their leap beyond the confines of campus was not by design, she said, but “only by chance.”

That chance came by way of an invitation to present at a centennial anniversary exhibit of the Japanese Association of Anatomists. There they were surprised not only by the number of people who came to see their plastinates, she said, but by the reactions they seemed to evoke.

Dr. Whalley said she still gets goosebumps when she thinks about one visitor to that first exhibition, who shared her amazement at the intricacies of the human body. The visitor continued to say that she had survived more than one suicide attempt, making the realizations about her own body particularly powerful.

Body Worlds exhibits are generally recommended for viewers who are at least 12 years old, but parents are encouraged to make that determination themselves. Body Worlds Rx is open through Labor Day during science center hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 for members and $9 for nonmembers.