EDUCATION: Fleshing Out the Neandertals

Science  12 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5502, pp. 215
DOI: 10.1126/science.10.1126/SCIENCE.291.5502.215E

Computers have brought new life to fossil studies. Instead of just examining bones, researchers now digitize them, then fill in missing pieces, add flesh, and simulate gait and other features. Neurobiologist Christoph Zollikofer and imaging colleagues at the University of Zürich in Switzerland have created a tutorial describing their ongoing work using computer-assisted paleoanthropology to study Neandertals. They put fossils through a computed tomography (CT) scan, reconstruct them in 3D, then compare them to modern humans. The site also describes virtual surgery, for example, to help surgeons reconstruct the face of a man mauled by a bear.∼zolli/Neanderthals.htm

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