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Photos: Body Worlds Vital

Body Worlds Vital, on view at the Anchorage Museum through the end of the year, eases visitors into the exhibit with more artistic renderings of the human form. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Body Worlds Vital, on display through the end of the year at the Anchorage Museum, displays real human bodies preserved through the use of plastination. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Dr. Angelina Whalley, director of Body Worlds’ Institute for Plastination in Germany and a licensed physician, describes the process with journalists during a preview of the exhibition on September 27, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Dr. Angelina Whalley, director of Body Worlds’ Institute for Plastination in Germany and a licensed physician, describes the process with journalists during a preview of the exhibition on September 27, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
A human skull, plastinated, at the Anchorage Museum's Body Worlds Vital exhibit. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The major blood vessels of the human head, on display at the Anchorage Museum's Body Worlds Vital exhibit. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The running man, part of the Anchorage Museum's Body Worlds Vital exhibit. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The running man, part of the Anchorage Museum's Body Worlds Vital exhibit. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The Anchorage Museum's Body Worlds Vital exhibit features intricately detailed specimens of the human body, preserved via a process called plastination. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
A human heart, part of the Body Worlds Vital exhibit at the Anchorage Museum. The exhibit features full body specimens and details of body parts. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
The singer, one of the many full-body exhibits at Body Worlds Vital, on display through the end of the year at the Anchorage Museum. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
One of the full body specimens at the Body Worlds Vital exhibit, on display through the end of the year at the Anchorage Museum. September 27, 2012
Loren Holmes photo

Enlarged hearts. Fatty livers. Blackened lungs. All on display.

If that sounds frightening, it's because in some ways it is. But it’s also inspiring and informative, and that's exactly what curators of the Anchorage Museum's latest exhibition hope.

The traveling exhibition, “Body Worlds Vital,” that opens Friday is one of several touring “Body Worlds” exhibits. The Anchorage exhibit, the smallest of seven touring exhibitions, focuses on health. The lungs, heart and livers all fit into the context of informing visitors about making healthy choices.

“It allows us -- without raising a finger -- to say, 'Don't do this, don't do that,' ” said Dr. Angelina Whalley, director of the Body Worlds' Institute for Plastination in Germany. “Hopefully they'll make better decisions for the rest of their lives.”

The exhibit is not the first of its kind to come to Alaska.

MORE: EYE-OPENING 'BODY WORLDS VITAL' OPENS AT ANCHORAGE MUSEUM