Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

By Vasiliki M, Field Reporter

Originally published September 2006.

sulcus48Whether you believe that the human body is a vessel that carries that which makes us individuals or whether you believe it is simply a functional machine, it is safe to say that the human body is both sacred and awe-inspiring. Until recently, it has been very difficult for the public to explore the human body closely enough as to quench the curiosity surrounding our most personal possession. Bodies: the Exhibition, in town since March 4th of this year, allows us to quite literally look into ourselves. The development of a silicon based polymerization process has allowed the creators of the exhibit to preserve bodies in an artistic display, exposing the most intricate details of the human body to the common eye.

With each room you travel to within the exhibit, you encounter magnificent dissections revealing each of the body’s major components, including the vascular and circulatory, muscular, digestive and skeletal systems. Most amazing and relevant to all of us nerdoscientists is the dissection of the nervous system. Sprawled out in a glass case is the meticulous network of nerves that link the periphery to the brain. It is amazing how such a delicate component of the  the human body is responsible for our being.

When asked to comment on her favorite aspect of the exhibit, 2nd year Meera Modi emphatically stated, “the mutant fetuses were so cool!” The finale of the exhibit takes you in utero, where embryos at different stages of development and others with severe congenital defects are presented. At the exit there exists the opportunity to touch a polymerized brain, which in actually feels nothing like something natural should and even makes you question whether any of the exhibit is truly real. Sure, the exhibit raises some difficult questions such as how the bodies for the exhibit were obtained, but for the most part, it offers some answers to questions we all have concerning our own bodies.

Bodies: the Exhibition is in town at the Atlanta Civic Center until Septermber 4th, so if you have yet to make the trip, be sure to go and make your own conclusions.

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