the curious lives of human cadavers
Crimes of anatomy: body-snatching and other sordid tales from the dawn of human dissection
Life after death: on human decay and what can be done about it
Dead man driving: human crash test dummies and the ghastly, necessary science of impact tolerance
Beyond the black box: when the bodies of the passengers must tell the story of a crash
The cadaver who joined the army: the sticky ethics of bullets and bombs
Holy cadaver: the crucifixion experiments
How to know if you're dead: beating-heart cadavers, live burial, and the scientific search for the soul
Just a head: decapitation, reanimation, and the human head transplant
Eat me: medicinal cannibalism and the case of the human dumplings
Out of the fire, into the compost bin: and other new ways to end up
Remains of the author: will she or won't she?
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funny and engaging. a terrific overview of the life (?) of a corpse. from crash dummy, to being on display as a plastinated piece of art in a museum to helping forensic anthropologists determine rate of decay . we all die, we all end as corpses. sometimes even dead we have a life!
Mary Roach, a journalist, describes various ways cadavers are used or have been used historically. In a series of sketches, Roach visits sites where cadavers are used, describes what she witnesses, and interviews the people who work with cadavers. She discusses the use of cadvers by surgeons who wish to improve their techniques without harming a patient; how cadavers have been procured historically, including a discussion of medical colleges relying on body snatchers; the decay process of cadavers and its use in forensics; the use of cadavers to test safety features in cars; how cadavers are used to determine the cause of airplane accidents; the use of cadavers to determine the impact of bullets and bombs; the use of cadavers by scholars interested in crucifixion; organ donation; the possibility of head transplants; cannibalism; various methods of disposing of dead bodies. In the final chapter, the author muses about how she would like her own body to be disposed.
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