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Carleton looking for a few bones to buy a few body bits

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Ottawa Citizen | By Meggie Sylvester | March 14, 2014

Help bring plastinates to Carleton University 300x224 - Carleton looking for a few bones to buy a few body bitsCampaign to purchase plastinates will improve students’ experience, project leaders say

OTTAWA — Soft tissue, hard tissue and dead tissue — it could look a little like Doctor Frankenstein’s laboratory at Carleton University this year, if a new fundraising campaign turns out to be successful.

Two professors in the health sciences department are embarking on a quest to raise $25,000 for plastinates, or real human tissue preserved for research and teaching purposes.

Instructor Iain McKinnell and associate professor Jeff Dawson hope to purchase dissected specimens of respiratory structures, spinal cords, and blood vessels within a brain.

These aids will enhance students’ experience, even if it means getting their hands dirty, according to the project’s mandate.

Plastinates are more valuable than mere simulations, advocates say. They offer the true texture of tissue, muscle and respiratory structures.

“We’ve really been trying to develop our courses,” says McKinnell, “and one of the things we really wanted was to give our students the best possible experience they can have in anatomy and physiology.”

Campaign Video:  Help bring plastinates to Carleton University

Fourth-year biology health science major Kendra Young says the new equipment will help students who might want to move forward in the health-care profession.

What’s more, the plastinates will shift the university toward cutting-edge educational tools and, according to Dawson, equipment not commonly used in undergraduate programs.

All tissue and blood vessel donations will be gifted by legitimate donors in the health sciences community.

As well as taking a novel approach to lab work, Carleton is also trying new methods of fundraising.

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