Tuning the Visible Human

Researchers at the University of Michigan have implemented Web100 as part of the Visible Human Project, a collaboration with PSC to develop new technologies for the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human data. The massive database, which fills more than 60 CD-ROMs, can now be viewed only in static 2-D cross-sections.

The Michigan-PSC team is developing tools to better discern 3-D shapes and spatial relationships. Using these tools through an easy-to-use graphical interface, the Visible Human will be more valuable as a training technology for medical students, and the Web100 software's ability to tune the network is essential.

In one of the enhanced capabilities implemented by PSC, a user may select a feature from a 2-D view, such as the liver section (top, right). By clicking on this section, the interface will outline the anatomical feature and automatically display a 3-D image (bottom, right) that shows the orientation of the 2-D slice. This and other innovative capabilities will allow students to discern anatomical relationships that previous students could learn only by dissecting cadavers.

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