Famed “BODIES… The Exhibition” in Lima through September

The breathtaking and fascinating “BODIES…The Exhibition” – a phenomenal exhibit of the amazing and complex machine we call the human body – will be open at Lima’s Plaza Camacho until September 5.

The exhibition, which features real human specimens that have been preserved against decay, allows people access to sights and knowledge usually reserved only for the medical profession.

The primary purpose of BODIES…The Exhibition is health education, allowing people to learn about their own bodies and, ultimately, teach them how to take better care of their health and make positive lifestyle choices. The exhibition, of whole and partial bodies and some 200 samples of organs, enables visitors to see and understand medical conditions in a whole new way by highlighting health concerns including obesity, breast cancer, colon cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and arthritis. The exhibition also highlights damage done to organs due to smoking.

All of the specimens in the exhibition were obtained through a plastination facility in Dalian, China. They are real bodies, of people who in their lifetime donated their bodies to be used at their death for medical research and teaching. The specimens in exhibition in Lima are from medical universities in China, including Dalian Medical University. The particular preservation process, invented in 1977 by German artist and scientist Gunther von Hagens, continues to be used to supply medical schools with authentic models of the body.

The specimens are preserved first by standard mortuary science procedures. Once dissected, the specimen is immersed in acetone, which eliminates all body water. The specimen is then placed in a large bath of silicone, or polymer, and sealed in a vacuum chamber. Under vacuum, acetone leaves the body in the form of gas and the polymer replaces it, entering each cell and body tissue. A catalyst is then applied to the specimen, hardening it and completing the process. This method of preservation creates a specimen that will not decay.

The first exhibition was held in Japan in 1996. Since then, more than 11 million people have viewed simultaneous exhibitions in leading cities worldwide. This year, exhibition locations include London, Augsburg, Zurich, San Diego, Tampa, Buffalo, New York, and Haifa.

Where: Centro Comercial Plaza Camacho, Av. Javier Prado Este 5193 – La Molina, Lima.
When: June 13 – September 5, 2009.
Tickets at Teleticket, Metro and Wong.

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