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• Human beings have been trying to see inside the body for thousands of years. Our fascination with anatomy goes back to the times of ancient Egypt and likely even before then.

• Organic decay makes it difficult for us to study human anatomy and for centuries, scientists have been searching for better preservation techniques.

• Plastination, invented by German Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977, is a vacuum process whereby the body’s water and fat are replaced with reactive plastics that are initially pliable and then harden after infusion. All tissue structures are retained.

• Unlike plastic models, plastinated specimens are intricate, REAL displays of human anatomy.

• It takes an average of 1,500 hours to transform a cadaver into a full-body plastinate.

• Plastinated specimens are dry and odorless and retain their natural structure – in fact, they are identical to their pre-preservation state down to the microscopic level.

• "Slice plastination" is a special variation of this preservation technique. Frozen body specimens are cut into slices which are then plastinated. Plastinated organs and body slices are a useful teaching aid for cross-sectional anatomy which is gaining importance in medical communities.

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