PDA

View Full Version : Dead Bodies, Skulls, and Bones Oh My! Pt. 1


Black Mamba
03-28-2009, 09:46 PM
WARNING: The following story will entail gross detail of decease individuals and their anatomy. I will not be holding back, so if you are the type that gets queasy then this story is not for you. :)

************************************************** ******


A few weeks ago I signed for a cadaver based head and neck seminar. I was going to be learning about all the nerves, muscles, skeletal, vascular, respiratory, and digestive things in this particular area. When I saw the words "cadaver based," I knew I had to sign up for it. There are two things in life that have always fascinated me: nuclear weapons and the dead. I haven't seen a dead body and was eagerly awaiting my first time.

So today I awoke at brisk 5:30 since the class started at 8 and I lived 40 miles away from the school. Although I'm not much of a morning person, today I instantly became one. :D After arriving at the campus 30 mintues early, and soaking in the California sun I was ready to become one with the human body.

For the first 3 hours of the class, it was spent learning about the skeletal, nerves, and muscles (respiratory, digestive, and vascular are next week). I will never look at our head and neck the same way! :wacko: My oh my there are so many different nerves, bones, and muscles just in our head and neck that it is mind blowing. I could spend easily an hour just talking to you guys about our cranial bones alone. Now during the bone segment of the class we got to work with actual human skulls. That was no biggy, but there was one skull in particular which pulled a heart string: a little baby's. :sad: Its skull was no bigger than the palm of my hand and so fragile too. I was afraid my grip was going to break it so I didn't it hold it that long.

The muscle segment was pretty neat. I knew we had a fair share of muscles in our face but I didn't know that many. It really put into perspective what plastic surgeons have to go through. And it also put into perspective what people do to themselves when they get botex.

My second favorite part of this entire seminar was the nervous structure. I love the brain and I never knew we have a total of 12 different nerves it in. Some I was familiar with such as the optic nerve, but others such as hypoglossal (controls the tongue {tongue musculature}) I didn't know. In addition I learned in more detail about the eyes and how its nerves work with the brain. That was awesome. :cool:

Ok, here comes the best part of this entire seminar: the cadavers and body parts. :hyper: I was excited and alittle nervous, but mostly excited. This was the reason why I spent $95 for this. Now before we all walked back to the bodies room, we got a chance to check out an actual brain (chopped) and the brain attachted with a spinal cord. The brain with the spinal cord was interesting. It was a 5 years old and still in pretty good shape. I was surprised to see what was inside the spinal cord was still preserved. I forgot the scientific name for it, but it means "horses tail" and the stuff inside our spinal cord really does look like it.

Now time for the dead bodies. :D Now matter what you do to prepare yourself for the shock of it, well it doesn't work, especially for the smell. :sick: When he unzipped the body, took off the plastic, and uncovered the sheet...the smell of formeldahyde was oober strong. For the first 2 minutes I got a buzz, and then I got used to it. The longer we were working on the body, it began to feel and smell like chicken. I never would have thought our body would have the consistency of chicken or beef, and some areas reminded me of pulled pork.

We have three cadavers: a 80 year old male who died 5 years ago from heart failure; a 60 year old woman who died from sepis (sp?) complications; and a 60 year old woman who died from lymphioma (sp?). The women are being saved for next week because they have a better neck and head cavity than the male.

So today my instructor decided to give us a full rundown of the decease's body (the male one). I got to hold and see his skin, his foot, his heart (which was enlarged), his lung, his arm, his stomach, liver, kidney, brain, femor, intestines, gall bladder, appendix (never knew it that small), rib cage, the top of skull....you name it I either saw or held.

The lung was pretty big, and it felt like a sponge. I never knew our aorta (sp?) was so big. The heart really surprised me, I got to my finger up this guy's ventricle and down where he had some leftover heartpacer wire. I would have loved to dissected his heart, but that's for another class. Holding this indidivual's foot and part of his leg was in some way, kinda cool. I got to see all his muscles, tendons, and those little small bones. I held part of the femur, a knee, and I forgot the name of the other bone attachted to it. Even cooler, it still moved. I also got the chance to put my hand in his chest cavity and examined some of stuff in there.

Black Mamba
03-28-2009, 09:51 PM
4 hours went by fast, and I stayed after class alittle bit to help the teacher clean up. I assisted him with putting the cadavers away and tucking in the one we were working on.

I found out he teaches a dissection class on human cadavers, so after I take human anatomy I'll definitely be looking into it. I'm also interested in prepping up the bodies too, so I'm going to see if I can a lab position for that. There is something really peaceful about working with the dead, so that will be a nice stress reliever from my other classes. :cool:

This isn't the end of my tale because next week Saturaday I will another. So stay tuned.

mscomc
03-28-2009, 10:15 PM
4 hours went by fast, and I stayed after class alittle bit to help the teacher clean up. I assisted him with putting the cadavers away and tucking in the one we were working on.

I found out he teaches a dissection class on human cadavers, so after I take human anatomy I'll definitely be looking into it. I'm also interested in prepping up the bodies too, so I'm going to see if I can a lab position for that. There is something really peaceful about working with the dead, so that will be a nice stress reliever from my other classes. :cool:

This isn't the end of my tale because next week Saturaday I will another. So stay tuned.



A lab postion working on dead bodies? WOW!!! Geeze, i thought i was ambitious working in a lab as an undergrad that dealt with bacteria there were........AMPICILLIN RESISTANT...haha, oh geeze im a joke. Thats really cool man.

Have you ever seen the Body Worlds exhibit? it was huge here in canada. Its that exhibit where they have bodies that have been preserved using this special technology in a specific postion (all muscle showing), like how the biceps change in when flexing!! stuff like this http://thumbsnap.com/i/EoH0vW2w.jpg I saw this, and IT BLEW MY MIND. I think youd get a kick out of it. :)

Bonnie
03-28-2009, 10:27 PM
Good for you, Danelle! :)

I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle some of that stuff, but on the other hand, the brain is fascinating. Really the whole body and how everything works is really amazing.

When I think about it...the human body...I just think how God thought of everything in creating us, and then, wonder at how some believe we evolved from apes. :blink:

I can't wait 'til your next installment. :wink:

TexasRN
03-28-2009, 11:31 PM
I told you that you'd love it!!! :w00t: I am excited for you. Human anatomy is fascinating.



~Amy

mscomc
03-29-2009, 12:59 AM
Good for you, Danelle! :)

I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle some of that stuff, but on the other hand, the brain is fascinating. Really the whole body and how everything works is really amazing.

When I think about it...the human body...I just think how God thought of everything in creating us, and then, wonder at how some believe we evolved from apes. :blink:

I can't wait 'til your next installment. :wink:




Hey bonnie....First I would just like to say that personally, I also Do Not beleive that humans came from a single celled organism like some evolutionary biologists say.....However, if you would like too, maybe we can have some discussions, and I can give you some more depth as to where these guys are comming from (I had to take many evolutionary and organism biology classes as an undergrad)......Anyway, just let me know if you would like to...:)

Take care.

Regards, Malcom

Bonnie
03-29-2009, 03:48 AM
Hey bonnie....First I would just like to say that personally, I also Do Not beleive that humans came from a single celled organism like some evolutionary biologists say.....However, if you would like too, maybe we can have some discussions, and I can give you some more depth as to where these guys are comming from (I had to take many evolutionary and organism biology classes as an undergrad)......Anyway, just let me know if you would like to...:)

Take care.

Regards, Malcom

Hey, that would be great. I'm always up for learning new things or hearing others viewpoints (even if I might not agree with them). Have you talked with Nate about a science/engineering/medical forum vs. thread yet? Or you can just go start a thread in the Woodshed about this particular topic. I'll watch for it. :)

Black Mamba
03-29-2009, 04:39 PM
A lab postion working on dead bodies? WOW!!! Geeze, i thought i was ambitious working in a lab as an undergrad that dealt with bacteria there were........AMPICILLIN RESISTANT...haha, oh geeze im a joke. Thats really cool man.

Have you ever seen the Body Worlds exhibit? it was huge here in canada. Its that exhibit where they have bodies that have been preserved using this special technology in a specific postion (all muscle showing), like how the biceps change in when flexing!! stuff like this http://thumbsnap.com/i/EoH0vW2w.jpg I saw this, and IT BLEW MY MIND. I think youd get a kick out of it. :)

I was initially thinking doing some research on bacteria. I'm taking an intro course right now on cellular molecular bio, and the first half of the course the instructor specialized in viruses. That stuff is really neat.

I've seen the Body Worlds exhibit in Vegas almost two years ago. :cool: There's another Bodies exhibit here in Cali that goes into more detail on the brain, so since I'm spring break I'm going to check that one out as well. It really blew my mind away, and one exhibit in particular was alittle hard for me to look at, the baby section. It was tough, but how else are you going to learn about the body and it's inner workings?

Black Mamba
03-29-2009, 04:42 PM
I'm sure I wouldn't be able to handle some of that stuff, but on the other hand, the brain is fascinating. Really the whole body and how everything works is really amazing.

When I think about it...the human body...I just think how God thought of everything in creating us, and then, wonder at how some believe we evolved from apes. :blink:

I can't wait 'til your next installment. :wink:

I agree, yesterday's class really put so much into perspective for me about our body. It really is amazing. I also think sometimes we take our bodies for granted.

Bonnie
03-29-2009, 04:59 PM
I agree, yesterday's class really put so much into perspective for me about our body. It really is amazing. I also think sometimes we take our bodies for granted.

Definitely, we do! :sad:

I wish you could work on figuring out how to restore sense of smell and taste, Danelle. I lost mine two years ago due to head surgery. Apparently, because the olfactory nerves grow through the skull, when they are cut or torn or even stretched, it's a done deal. :cry: So I can't smell anything and all I can taste is sweet, salty, bitter and sour, but no actual flavors. So texture of food has become important.

They warned me before the surgery, but until you're actually living it, you don't fully comprehend the magnitude of how much this affects the quality of your life. Not to mention being around gas or some other dangerous substance and not realizing it or eating/drinking something that is spoiled. :sick:

So, anybody, fyi, your sense of taste is very much "married" with your sense of smell. So do go smell the roses and don't take it for granted! :wink:

Tyburn
03-29-2009, 05:21 PM
1) I haven't seen a dead body and was eagerly awaiting my first time.

2) Its skull was no bigger than the palm of my hand and so fragile too. I was afraid my grip was going to break it so I didn't it hold it that long.

3) It was a 5 years old and still in pretty good shape. I was surprised to see what was inside the spinal cord was still preserved. I forgot the scientific name for it, but it means "horses tail" and the stuff inside our spinal cord really does look like it.

4) oober strong.

1) first time I saw a dead body was an accident. I had to go fetch something for someone on my work experience, and went through the chapel of rest...and there she was...some old lady lying in a coffin :mellow:

Second time I saw a dead body was the same week, I saw a body of a man...not much older then myself now. He was having his blood drained out and they were pumping him full of some funny pink liquid. part of the embalming process

2) have you ever held a budgie or very small rodent, like a hamster or mouse in your hand? where your afraid if you hold to tight you might crush it by accident :ashamed:

3) does the brain look different when its more advanced in age? I mean, things the framework for thoughts and memories are not things we are born with, although every single memory is stored and thought stored, you cant access some, like when you were really young, not because theyaint there...but because there is no framework to process the information...thats also why really early memories carry no particular date, or time...they sort of float...Just wondering if a full capacity brain LOOKS different in a physiological way?

4) Uber LOL Apparently the Pathologist person who I watched doing the embalming has bronchitis or some respiratory disease caused by prolonged exposure to the chemicals they use to preserve the body before burrial :unsure:

Black Mamba
03-29-2009, 05:27 PM
Definitely, we do!

I wish you could work on figuring out how to restore sense of smell and taste, Danelle. I lost mine two years ago due to head surgery. Apparently, because the olfactory nerves grow through the skull, when they are cut or torn or even stretched, it's a done deal. So I can't smell anything and all I can taste is sweet, salty, bitter and sour, but no actual flavors. So texture of food has become important.

They warned me before the surgery, but until you're actually living it, you don't fully comprehend the magnitude of how much this affects the quality of your life. Not to mention being around gas or some other dangerous substance and not realizing it or eating/drinking something that is spoiled.

So, anybody, fyi, your sense of taste is very much "married" with your sense of smell. So do go smell the roses and don't take it for granted!
Today 09:42 AM




Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that Bonnie. :sad: That would be something really cool to work on. I want to specalize on cell engineering and with Obama opening up the stem cell world, it may be possible. And I know Obama isn't popular on here, I'm not a huge fan of him either. However, I am excited at the aspect of stem cell research finally being more opened and at the prospects of what it can do.

I also want to do research on the optic nerve and see if stem cells can regenerate it. Eye issues hit close to home with my Momma, and it would really mean a lot to me if I can help her out.

mscomc
03-29-2009, 05:34 PM
Hey, that would be great. I'm always up for learning new things or hearing others viewpoints (even if I might not agree with them). Have you talked with Nate about a science/engineering/medical forum vs. thread yet? Or you can just go start a thread in the Woodshed about this particular topic. I'll watch for it. :)

I did send nate a message, but i am sure he is quite busy. So for now, i think i will just start a few topics in the Woodshed. I am a little nervous about starting one an evolution....even though i am just trying to show where evolutionary biologists come from (for anyone who wants to know, I AM NOT ONE).

Yeah catch me in the woodshed:)

Black Mamba
03-29-2009, 05:38 PM
You'll find some strong opinions on here about evolution, so good luck in that thread if you start it. :laugh:

1) first time I saw a dead body was an accident. I had to go fetch something for someone on my work experience, and went through the chapel of rest...and there she was...some old lady lying in a coffin :mellow:

Second time I saw a dead body was the same week, I saw a body of a man...not much older then myself now. He was having his blood drained out and they were pumping him full of some funny pink liquid. part of the embalming process

2) have you ever held a budgie or very small rodent, like a hamster or mouse in your hand? where your afraid if you hold to tight you might crush it by accident :ashamed:

3) does the brain look different when its more advanced in age? I mean, things the framework for thoughts and memories are not things we are born with, although every single memory is stored and thought stored, you cant access some, like when you were really young, not because theyaint there...but because there is no framework to process the information...thats also why really early memories carry no particular date, or time...they sort of float...Just wondering if a full capacity brain LOOKS different in a physiological way?

4) Uber LOL Apparently the Pathologist person who I watched doing the embalming has bronchitis or some respiratory disease caused by prolonged exposure to the chemicals they use to preserve the body before burrial :unsure:

1) Oh wow. :blink: That pink fluid you saw them pumping into the body was probably formeldahyde Dave. I always wondered what color it was, so I might have to look that up.

2) I've held a hamster before and he was cute lil booger. I didn't have to worry about crushing him because I was afraid he was going to bite me.

3) One of the brains I saw was from a 5 year old corpse and it was preserved with chemicals, and to a degree it did shrink. And a course you couldn't see any of the nerves and blood vessels because it's been long inactive. And I'll be sure to ask the instructor your question Dave, because that's a good one.

4) I was wondering about the side effects of prolonged exposure to embalming fluids. But I won't be working with the dead my entire life, so hopefully I won't have much to worry about.

Tyburn
03-29-2009, 06:22 PM
You'll find some strong opinions on here about evolution, so good luck in that thread if you start it. :laugh:



1) Oh wow. :blink: That pink fluid you saw them pumping into the body was probably formeldahyde Dave. I always wondered what color it was, so I might have to look that up.

2) I've held a hamster before and he was cute lil booger. I didn't have to worry about crushing him because I was afraid he was going to bite me.

3) One of the brains I saw was from a 5 year old corpse and it was preserved with chemicals, and to a degree it did shrink. And a course you couldn't see any of the nerves and blood vessels because it's been long inactive. And I'll be sure to ask the instructor your question Dave, because that's a good one.

4) I was wondering about the side effects of prolonged exposure to embalming fluids. But I won't be working with the dead my entire life, so hopefully I won't have much to worry about.
1) it was something pretty powerful that was for sure. I cant remember what she said it was. but the colour was like strawberry milkshake :laugh:

2) :laugh: well...I concure with small rodents...because when they bite it can hurt...a bird on the other hand...pecks dont really hurt, scratch or anything like that...whereas my psycho Hamster called Teri, that I had in Lincoln nearly bit my Mothers Finger tip off :scared0015:

Bonnie
03-29-2009, 07:30 PM
I did send nate a message, but i am sure he is quite busy. So for now, i think i will just start a few topics in the Woodshed. I am a little nervous about starting one an evolution....even though i am just trying to show where evolutionary biologists come from (for anyone who wants to know, I AM NOT ONE).

Yeah catch me in the woodshed:)

Like Danelle said, I'm sure there will be plenty of opinions expressed in an "evolution" thread. If we only ever read or listened to like-minded people, our world would be pretty narrow and small. Plus, how would we ever know where we stand on things if we never bumped into the thing(s) that helped to make our position(s) clear. :wink:

Bonnie
03-29-2009, 07:44 PM
Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that Bonnie. :sad: That would be something really cool to work on. I want to specalize on cell engineering and with Obama opening up the stem cell world, it may be possible. And I know Obama isn't popular on here, I'm not a huge fan of him either. However, I am excited at the aspect of stem cell research finally being more opened and at the prospects of what it can do.

I also want to do research on the optic nerve and see if stem cells can regenerate it. Eye issues hit close to home with my Momma, and it would really mean a lot to me if I can help her out.

Yes, stem cell research is a hot potato topic, but an important, very important area that has the potential to really help a lot of people in this world. Hopefully, they'll be able to find a better way to do this so there is no longer the controversy that surrounds it now and we can finally get on to exploring it's many benefits. :)

Black Mamba
03-29-2009, 08:52 PM
Yes, stem cell research is a hot potato topic, but an important, very important area that has the potential to really help a lot of people in this world. Hopefully, they'll be able to find a better way to do this so there is no longer the controversy that surrounds it now and we can finally get on to exploring it's many benefits. :)

I'm sure there will be ways to make stem cells less controversial. I was reading in my school's newspaper, this one scientists who was able to make adult stem cells revert back to their embryonic stange. Now that is fascinating.

And I do understand the controversy behind embryonic stem cells, but the way I feel is why waste an aborted baby's life when it can be put to good use? It's a shame that the baby had to be aborted, but it can give so much life in return.

mscomc
03-29-2009, 08:55 PM
I'm sure there will be ways to make stem cells less controversial. I was reading in my school's newspaper, this one scientists who was able to make adult stem cells revert back to their embryonic stange. Now that is fascinating.

And I do understand the controversy behind embryonic stem cells, but the way I feel is why waste an aborted baby's life when it can be put to good use? It's a shame that the baby had to be aborted, but it can give so much life in return.


Hey fellow scientist..... I was going to talk about stem cells as well in the woodshed. I posted a couple threads on evolutionary biology and I already feel bad about it. So maybe ill move on to a slightly less controversial subject.

Maybe you woud like to join me?

Black Mamba
03-29-2009, 09:06 PM
Hey fellow scientist..... I was going to talk about stem cells as well in the woodshed. I posted a couple threads on evolutionary biology and I already feel bad about it. So maybe ill move on to a slightly less controversial subject.

Maybe you woud like to join me?

You shouldn't feel bad about it, it's science. I had to learn something pretty fast yesterday because my emotions at first, were starting to get to me when I was reading these cadevar's death certificates. That something was this: 1) these people donated their body to science 2) they are in a better place 3) they donated their body to science for a reason. We are not doing anything bad as scientists, all we are trying to do is better the world one step at time.

And as soon as I finish typing up my fly lab report I'll jump into some topics. :) I'm only in my second year and been exposed to the basics of chemistry and biology. So my knowledge isn't as deep as yours yet.

mscomc
03-29-2009, 09:08 PM
You shouldn't feel bad about it, it's science. I had to learn something pretty fast yesterday because my emotions at first, were starting to get to me when I was reading these cadevar's death certificates. That something was this: 1) these people donated their body to science 2) they are in a better place 3) they donated their body to science for a reason. We are not doing anything bad as scientists, all we are trying to do is better the world one step at time.

And as soon as I finish typing up my fly lab report I'll jump into some topics. :) I'm only in my second year and been exposed to the basics of chemistry and biology. So my knowledge isn't as deep as yours yet.


OOOO dont be soo tough on yourself...I can already tell, your aptitude is quite very high for the life sciences. THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH IN YOU!!! oooo man im such a geek :)

Black Mamba
03-29-2009, 09:24 PM
OOOO dont be soo tough on yourself...I can already tell, your aptitude is quite very high for the life sciences. THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH IN YOU!!! oooo man im such a geek :)

Awwww thank you. :ashamed: I will use that force to finish my report.

Bonnie
03-30-2009, 06:20 AM
I'm sure there will be ways to make stem cells less controversial. I was reading in my school's newspaper, this one scientists who was able to make adult stem cells revert back to their embryonic stange. Now that is fascinating.

And I do understand the controversy behind embryonic stem cells, but the way I feel is why waste an aborted baby's life when it can be put to good use? It's a shame that the baby had to be aborted, but it can give so much life in return.

I agree with you Danelle. :)

I can see you and Malcom are going to have a lot in common to discuss given your fields of study. I've just been reading his thread in The Woodshed on evolution and him and Nathan are quite involved.

I'm trying to follow but my little brain is on overload with all those big scientific words. I did recognize a few: DNA, species, Darwin, ape... :laugh:

As we used to tell my little nephew, I guess I'll just put my "listening" ears on and quietly observe the higher minds. :wink:

que
03-30-2009, 07:18 AM
what does the dead body smell like? does it smell like rotten chicken or beef or something else?

or could you not even smell the body because the embalming fluid smell overpowered it?

i use to be completely obsessed and fascinated with all that stuff. i even watched entire autopsy videos online but i'm sure it doesn't compare with actually being there and getting to hold everything and analyze it firsthand

Black Mamba
03-30-2009, 05:54 PM
what does the dead body smell like? does it smell like rotten chicken or beef or something else?

or could you not even smell the body because the embalming fluid smell overpowered it?

i use to be completely obsessed and fascinated with all that stuff. i even watched entire autopsy videos online but i'm sure it doesn't compare with actually being there and getting to hold everything and analyze it firsthand

The initial scent is formeldahyde and any other embalming fluids they might use. But after awhile, to me it began to smell like rotten chicken or beef with still the chemical smell. Our body does have the consitency of pulled meat after awhile too.

I've watched some autospy shows on HBO and occasionally watched Dr. G on the discovery health channel. But you're right, it doesn't compare to being there to actually smelling, holding, feeling, and analyzing everything.

Miss Foxy
03-30-2009, 06:25 PM
what does the dead body smell like? does it smell like rotten chicken or beef or something else?

or could you not even smell the body because the embalming fluid smell overpowered it?

i use to be completely obsessed and fascinated with all that stuff. i even watched entire autopsy videos online but i'm sure it doesn't compare with actually being there and getting to hold everything and analyze it firsthand
I think it smells like Hot Cheetos. Or at least the morgue does. I have not ate a Hot Cheeto in years!!