Gunther von Hagens, German anatomist

Gunther von Hagens, German anatomist

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Credit: MARK THOMAS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gunther von Hagens (born 1945), German anatomist. Von Hagens invented the technique of plastination, which conserves dead bodies by replacing water and fat with plastic. The technique preserves detailed anatomy, so the bodies can be dissected and put on display. Von Hagens invented the technique in 1977 and founded the Institute of Plastination in 1993, in Heidelberg, Germany. Von Hagen also developed the Body Worlds exhibition (1995) that has toured many countries. The exhibits educate the public by showing dissections of healthy and unhealthy human bodies. Von Hagens performed a public autopsy in the UK (2002), and carried out dissections for the UK television program Anatomy for Beginners (2005, Channel 4).

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