by Andrew Crisp
At a press conference today at the Discovery Center of Idaho, Dr. Roy Glover stood before a table lined with plasticized human organs: a human heart, a slice of brain, a piece of tumor-ridden lung, and a full, blackened human lung belonging to a former smoker.
"I believe our bodies are our most precious gift," Glover said. "They're the only things we carry with us from the day we're born until our last breath."
The darkened lung was meant to illustrate the adverse effects of failing to keep our bodies in good health, he said.
Glover developed and ran the University of Michigan Medical School's Polymer Preservation Laboratory before retiring in 2004. Now he is chief medical director and spokesman for Bodies Revealed, a touring exhibition that showcases preserved human bodies. In partnership with St. Alphonsus Health Systems, the Discovery Center will present Bodies Revealed from Saturday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, March 31.
That same polymer preservation process was performed on the real human organs lying on the table, creating sterile objects fit for museum-goers.
"We do the brain in the cold," Glover said, gesturing to the organ on the table. "The cold will prevent as much shrinkage as possible."
In the full exhibit, the various systems of full human bodies will take center stage. Two-thirds of the museum will be transformed into Bodies Revealed, with classic DCI exhibits relegated to the back wing.
"We have gotten overwhelming feedback," said Janine Boire, DCI executive director. "It was not a particularly easy decision to do this exhibit. It's a departure from the Discovery Center's usual fare, but we've gotten overwhelming response."
The Discovery Center also needs help to run the exhibit—some 300 more volunteers are needed to take tickets and answer questions through the exhibit's run.
Boire said tickets will run $18 for adults, and $14 for youth ages 4 to 17. Special member discounts will also be available.