The Universe Within

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In the cold glare of the autopsy lab she was doing her job, a job she enjoyed, resecting the thoracic viscera. She put her hands around the heart and gently brought it out of the chest cavity placing it on the cutting board. Even though it was well into the early morning hours her hands held steady. With careful incisions the heart lay open in sections. She removed tissue slices to be examined under the microscope. This was only the beginning…

If you’ve been thinking of making a career move to Medical Examiner/Coroner, or if you get a kick from watching the cast on CSI pass body parts around you will enjoy THIS EXHIBIT.

May 25
I have an update on this post. Many questions are being asked about the bodies used in this exhibit. ABC TV is investigating.

The exhibit runs through September 4
Nob Hill Masonic Center Exhibition Hall
1111 California Street,
San Francisco, CA 94108

NOTE: The Franklin Institute Science Museum hosts “Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies” from Oct. 7–April 23. 2006 Philadelphia Pa.

8 Comments so far

  1. Disgusted One (unregistered) on May 28th, 2005 @ 2:18 pm

    This SF Body Show is about the most disgusting “event” anyone ever dreamed up. Is NOTHING sacred any more? How could any human being be so crass and disrespectful (and stupid) as to present a bunch of hacked-open bodies as “art”?

    Shameful and sickening!

    UGH!


  2. Robin Jean (unregistered) on May 28th, 2005 @ 3:25 pm

    The human body is art in itself.


  3. Elizabeth Tang (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2005 @ 12:21 pm

    As a science student I found the Universe Within to be an embarrassment to the scientific world. It disguised itself as an exhibit to inform the general public of human anatomy but did little more than show visitors a morbid freak show. Yes, if more information had been given then perhaps the exhibit would have been a success. But why even show the internal systems of the human body if information is not even given about their functions? The exhibit did not even give information about the process used to preserve the bodies. Furthermore, I am outraged that hardly anyone has wondered where the bodies used in this carnival have come from. So far my research on this topic has given me no reason to believe that all of the bodies used were from consenting individuals. It is to my understanding at this point that the bodies have come from a plastination factory in Nanjing, China. This worries me considering China’s very flawed human rights records which include mass harvesting of organs from prisoners.


  4. borg cyborg (unregistered) on July 15th, 2005 @ 4:17 pm

    this is an outrage!


  5. needle man (unregistered) on August 18th, 2005 @ 9:03 pm

    I saw the Body Worlds (http://www.koerperwelten.de/en/pages/ausstellung_usa.asp) exhibit as an acupuncture student in Los Angeles, and that was absolutely fantastic. The artful, dramatic ways in which the bodies were arranged were really beautiful. There was quite a bit of educational material accompanying the exhibits, as well. In addition, all the bodies were of people who specifically, knowingly donated their bodies for that purpose. The guy who did this exhibition is the inventor of the process of plastination.

    It is my understanding, however, that there are now a number of imitation exhibitions around the country that got their bodies from China, where they use unclaimed, unidentified bodies. This seems to be one of them, and, from the sample images I saw on their website, definitely seems to be a cheap knockoff of the real thing. The difference is obvious if you just compare the websites.


  6. Jessica (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 8:11 pm

    On vacation to the Tampa, FL area, my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to the MOSI museum (http://www.mosi.org) to see ‘Bodies: The Exhibition.’ Being a Physical Anthropology Ph.D. student concentrating in Human Osteology and Morphology, he knew how excited I would be to see the exhibit. I have to say that it was absolutely amazing and extremely informative and respectful. However, he and some other visitors made a mention of the controversy surrounding the exhibit due to questionable attainment of the specimens. Too engrossed in the skeletal specimens I didn’t put much thought into it because I figured “Hey! It’s an exhibit supported by a reputable museum, right?”

    Upon returning back home to NJ, my parents informed me of another exhibit coming to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Not realizing that there is more than one exhibit of plastinated specimens touring the country I assured them that the exhibit is in Tampa until the spring of 2006 and not coming to Philadelphia within the month. Maybe it’s because I’m still coming down from my vacation high (only been back home for two days now), but I cannot believe how uninformed and gullible I have become with this type of exhibits.

    Aparently the exhibit coming to Philadelphia is the real thing, headed by the founder of plastinization, Dr. Gunter von Hagens. I just finished a three-hour Google search for all information I could find regarding the controversies surrounding all plastinated exhibits, and have concluded that ‘Bodies: The Exhibition’ and ‘Body World/Body World 2′ are legitimate exhibits.

    Of course, I also realize that no matter how many articles I have read or websites I have browsed, the questions that have arisen about the procurement of the specimens have not in any way been answered. All of the exhibits–legitimate or not–may be able to provide clear documentation specifying the bodies were obtained through donation by legal means, I continue to remain skeptical.

    Regardless of the legitimacy or legality of the exhibits, one should reflect upon the opportunities plastinization provides the medical and anthropological communities. As time goes on and the ethics of medicine are questioned further there may come a time in which the dissection of cadavers is no longer possible.

    In conclusion: do not support ‘The Universe Within’ or any other exhibit not mentioned above that cannot provide answers to the controversial questions surrounding them.


  7. erica (unregistered) on December 30th, 2005 @ 10:52 pm

    when is the one in phila.?


  8. Marmaduke (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

    oewyykyrgo venvpliav



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