Florida Museum Exhibit Explores Science Of Human Body

Get ready to be grossed out while exploring why the human body produces mushy, oozy, crusty, scaly and stinky gunk at "Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body" during its appearance at the Florida Museum of Natural History Sept. 27 through Jan. 11, 2009.

Based on the best-selling book "Grossology," by Sylvia Branzei, this exhibition uses sophisticated animatronics and imaginative exhibits to tell visitors the good, the bad and the downright ugly about runny noses, body odor and much more.

"We're excited about bringing this blockbuster to Gainesville," said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum exhibits director. "It has received rave reviews at many major U.S. venues. The Grossology magic has lots to do with its frank treatment of subjects that are often taboo -- exploring them in a fun, light way to inspire curiosity and teach about human biology."

Visitors can take a "Tour du Nose" to explore 10 nasal features, including how the nose acts as an air filter, a smell sensor and a mucus producer. The pinball game "Gas Attack" shows players how food items cause flatulence with bumpers and bright lights. The "Burp Machine" mimics the buildup of acid indigestion and finishes with a giant belch. "Urine: The Game" teaches contestants about the role of the kidney. Children and adults can take a ride on the gastrointestinal slide, climb a large-scale replica of human skin and discover other mysterious ways the body's biology does what it needs to do to stay healthy.

Branzei, a former science teacher from northwest Washington, developed the idea for her book based on her students' natural fascination with blood, snot and slime. The book and exhibit teach visitors about their bodies through topics not found in a typical science textbook in everyday language.

Even if snot and slime aren't the picture of a fun time, "Grossology" has something for anyone wanting to learn more about the human body.

"While kids and families are a natural for this show, all audiences enjoy its accessible and entertaining approach," MacMahon said. -- www.flmnh.ufl.edu

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