Controversial cadaver exhibit on display
A controversial exhibit featuring preserved, posed human bodies will be shown by the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Baylor College of Medicine through September, despite some complaints that the display is exploitative. "Body Worlds 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies" features whole-body "plastinates" — bodies preserved with reactive resins, silicon rubber, and epoxy. The exhibit includes more than 200 authentic specimens, including organs and whole body specimens. Plastination was developed as a means of preserving bodies for medical study, but its developer responded to public interest in the process by creating the first in a series of public exhibitions. The sponsoring organizations say the exhibit allows viewers to see the complex interconnection of muscles, tendons, and blood vessels in the human body, and medical experts from the Baylor College of Medicine will provide consultation, docent training, and educational programming support in collaboration with the museum for the duration of the exhibit. Body Worlds creators say more than 6,500 donors, including 142 from the United States, have bequeathed their bodies to the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany, for public and educational use. For more information, go to www.bodyworlds.com.