Sunday, January 08, 2012

I Sing the Body Electric II

The Net never ceases to amaze. The NYTimes has a terrific article titled The Vitrural Body, Ready for Dissection, a piece discussing the revolution coming to anatomy courtesy of BioDigital, a startup focusing on all things digital regarding the human body (Zygote is another player gearing up for this emerging tech  as well.

PEOPLE wear 3-D glasses for new movies like “The Adventures of Tintin.” But for medical school?

The answer is yes at the New York University School of Medicine, which is using 3-D technology to update a rite of passage for would-be doctors: anatomy class.

In a basement lab at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan last month, students in scrubs and surgical gloves hovered over cadavers on gurneys, preparing, as would-be doctors have for centuries, to separate rib cages and examine organs. But the dead are imperfect stand-ins for the living. Death — and embalming fluid — take a toll.

So, in an adjacent classroom, a group of students wearing 3-D glasses made by Nvidia, a graphics processing firm, dissected a virtual cadaver projected on a screen. Using a computer to control the stereoscopic view, they swooped through the virtual body, its sections as brightly colored as living tissue. First, the students scrutinized layers of sinewy pink muscles layered over ivory bones. Then, with the click of a mouse, they examined a close-up of the heart, watching as deep blue veins and bright red arteries made the heart pump.

Compared with the real cadavers in the lab next door, the virtual one seemed as dynamic as Imax.

Now, if only health care was as promising as this, food for thought, don't you think?

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