Susanna and all,
I concur with all the above comments by atthomas and NCgirl. Less people are donating bodies to science and the costs for cadavers is reflective of this.
If you are interested more on the topic of cadavers and the research done with them, a great current book on the subject by Mary Roach Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
presents some of the interesting things done with cadavers to further human science. You can find it on Amazon
, Barnes & Noble, or Borders. It addresses the current problem with the shortage of cadavers also. Here's the info from the inside flap:
For 2000 yrs, cadavers-some willingly, some unwittingly- have been involved in science's boldest strides and wierdest undertakings. They helped test France's first guillotines, answering the question, "Is the severed head aware of its circumstances, however momentarily?" They helped evaluate the army's new rifles in 1904, standing as targets before researchers' guns. They've ridden the NASA Space shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. Fro every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there, alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet, sundered way.
In this facinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries- from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and 19th-century Europe to a human-decay research facility at the U. of Tenn. (a.k.a. the "Body Farm"), a plastic surgery practice lab, and a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on the utopian future of human composting. In her droll, intimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.
"Mary Roach is the funniest science writer in the country. If that sounds like faint praise- or even an oxymoron- there's proof to the contrary on almost any page of this book. Stiff tells us where the bodies are, what they're up to, and the astonishing tales they still have to tell. Best of all it manages, somehow, to find humor in cadavers without robbing them of their dignity. Long live the dead." -Burkhard Bilger
Makes a great summer read and will get you interesting stares on the train or on the beach!