Saturday, July 22, 2006

A new to look at the body

Today we finally got to see the Body Worlds 2 exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We were supposed to see it last Saturday, but there was power outage and we had to reschedule for today. It was a fascinating exhibit and I'm really glad that we went.

The exhibit is laid out in sections based on body systems, with different displays that show aspects of that system in cases including thin cross sections, plus the large full body displays that usually get the most attention. The most amazing section to me was the displays of the circulatory system that were just the web of veins and arteries and capillaries. The way they were preserved made it look like they were made out of lace or spider webs. It was remarkably beautiful and at the same time it was awe inspiring to think that my circulatory system is that intricate and that beautiful.

There were parts of the exhibit that really got to me, but not because of any squeamishness on my part. There were a number of the displays that had to do with cancer, particularly lung cancer, and those were hard because of my uncle and the family history of cancer on that side of the family. There was a section where you could touch a plastinated liver and it was a bit weird sort of plasticy and waxy, and I think that definitely had some ick factor. The other section that really struck me was at the end. There was a section that dealt with pregnancy and fetal development and it had a full body display of a woman who was 5 months pregnant. The description indicated that she had a medical condition that she knew would kill her before she was able to give birth and she chose to donate her body for this purpose. For some reason the fact that she made that choice really struck me. I'm not sure why, but it seemed to be such a strong thing to do.

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