PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- New numbers show more people are choosing to forego a traditional burial and donate their body to science instead.

In fact, between 2017 and 2018, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of people donating their body to science here in Arizona.

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Right now, there are 47,000 people in our state registered for this.

Katrina Hernandez from Science Care, an accreditetd body donation service, explained why she believes the numbers are going up.

"I think a lot of people find purpose with body donation and serving future generations," said Hernandez.

You can decide to do this at any age over 18, but they mostly get people in their 60s and 70s when their planning tends to happen.

The bodies are used for a variety of things including research education, improving surgical techniques to help with quicker recovery and disease research.

Most commonly bodies are used for medical device research and organ donation techniques.

"Without body donation, organ precurement could not take place. Organ donation actually stands on the shoulders of body donation, so all of the practices that take place to make sure the organ transplant is successful would probably be the most impacting," she explained.

You can request directed donation -- specific research but it's not guaranteed.

You can find our more about full body donation on their website:

Heidi Goitia is the traffic reporter and fill-in anchor for CBS 5 This Morning weekdays from 4:30-7am.

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