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Science  26 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5406, pp. 1223c
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5406.1223c

Cutting up cadavers while poring over a textbook used to be the only way to learn anatomy. These days there's a less messy alternative: online reconstructions such as this heart, from the Digital Anatomist Project sig.biostr.washington.edu/projects/da at the University of Washington, Seattle. In the 1980s, this group began slicing up cadavers, digitizing images of the slices, and using a computer to turn the 2D images into 3D structures. The effort inspired the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project, which has put data for two entire human bodies online.www.nlm.nih.gov/research/visible/visible_human.html At the Washington Web site, where bright colors help students pick out structures, you'll find atlases of the brain, thoracic organs, and the knee—mostly still images but also a few movies. Visitors can click to request labels, or take a quiz (can you find the ascending aorta and the pulmonary veins?).

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