Adopt a skull to help the Mutter Museum

The Mutter Museum — a freaky fantastic collection of medical curiosities — is trying to restore and preserve a collection of 139 skulls that were once used to debunk the pseudoscience of phrenology. You can help by adopting a skull for $200.

Your brain is all squishy: An anatomical demonstration

This video was made by the University of Utah Brain Institute to teach medical students about what a brain looks and feels like before it gets preserved in formalin and takes on the texture of a hard rubber ball.

The big takeaway message: Your brain is seriously squishy. So squishy, in fact, that a finger can dent it. As professor Suzanne Stensaas explains, this is one of the reasons why cerebrospinal fluid is so important. Your brain has to float in that fluid. If it didn't, it would come to rest against the side of your hard skull and quickly end up deformed.

Seriously, this is a fascinating (if extremely graphic) video. (Hilariously, given that fact, it opens with an image of a student eating.) Definitely worth watching!

Beautifully detailed artificial cadaver: like a 3D jigsaw puzzle that pumps heated blood


A mere $40K gets you Syndaver's full-body practice cadaver, a beautifully detailed surgical simulator, with "skin with fat and fascia planes, every bone, muscle, tendon, and ligament in the body, fully articulating joints, a functioning respiratory system including trachea, lungs, and diaphragm, a complete digestive tract from the esophagus to rectum, the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder, and urethra), visceral organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen), reproductive organs, a circulatory system with heart and coronary arteries, aorta, vena cava, and the primary arterial and venous trunks leading to the extremities."

They call it "pinnacle of hands-on surgical simulation" and "a 3D jigsaw puzzle" -- and who am I to argue. If $40K is too rich for your synthetic blood, they also do organs, wearable simulators for training roleplay, synthetic tissues, and a whole range of delightful wobbly bits.

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The Fabric of the Human Body: Spectacular edition of foundational 16th C anatomy text, 20 years in the making


David Hast sez, "Karger Publishing has released an important new translation of a foundational book in the history of science, the 16th century 'De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem' by Andreas Vesalius. Vesalius was the first modern anatomist, relying for the first time in history on dissections of human cadavers. His anatomy is a foundation of modern medicine and of the understanding of the human body."

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Painter snorts watercolor and sprays it out his tear-ducts

Leandro Granato is an Argentine painter whose talented sinuses allow him to snort liquid into his nose and squirt it out of his tear-ducts. He works by inhaling watercolor paint and spraying it on canvas.

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Anatomical cross-section from rolled paper bits

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Lisa Nilsson creates breathtaking anatomical cross-sections from paper. She has a new exhibition opening tomorrow at New York City's Pavel Zoubok Gallery. From Nilsson's artist statement:

These pieces are made of Japanese mulberry paper and the gilded edges of old books. They are constructed by a technique of rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper called quilling or paper filigree. Quilling was first practiced by Renaissance nuns and monks who are said to have made artistic use of the gilded edges of worn out bibles, and later by 18th century ladies who made artistic use of lots of free time.
Lisa Nilsson: "Tissue Series" (via Juxtapoz)

Reflected anatomical illustrations


Artist Kate Lacour created a set of reflected anatomical drawings that are one part miracle-of-the-guts, one part split-and-matched veneer (with some NSFW for added awesome). They're gorgeous, grotesque, and wonderful. Alas, she's not selling prints -- maybe someday!

Update: Hurrah, prints are for sale!

Bodies (via Street Anatomy)

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Curiously vampiric teeth of untreated syphilis sufferers


This 1863 image from the Wellcome Trust illustrates a distinctly vampiric set of "Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth" -- makes you wonder if the visual image of the vampire was inspired by the widespread horrors of untreated syphilis (for an exceptionally visceral window into a society wracked by untreated syphilis, have a look at the Mutter Museum's display of syphilitic skulls).

L0021139 “Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth”. (via JWZ)

How to: Sex your crocodile

Can you properly distinguish between a male and female crocodile? This research paper, published in 2007, will help — pointing out the sometimes subtle differences between external genitalia. It's chock full of pictures of erect crocodile penises, so you'll learn what those look like, but what particularly interested me was the diagram above.

Cloacas are sort of multi-purpose orifices found in certain species of birds and reptiles. Instead of having separate biological tools for poop, pee, and sex, these animals manage all three functions with the same hole. Males also have cloacas and will either have a penis or pseudo-penis that comes out of it for mating. I've known this for a long time, but had a lot of trouble picturing how all of that anatomy fits together. This diagram (Figure 4 in the paper) is the first image that made the internal structure of cloacas really make sense to me. The more you know!

Anatomical heart ring from BB sponsor ShanaLogic!

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Thank you to our longtime sponsor ShanaLogic, sellers of handmade and independently-designed jewelry, t-shirts, and other curious creations. Show your love with this Anatomical Heart Ring by Lost Apostle! It's handcrafted and cast out of solid white bronze. Available in sizes 5 to 8 for $45. Shana says, "FREE USA shipping on orders over $50!" ShanaLogic

Anatomical sweatshirt you can't have


Today's horrible, crushing disappointment comes to you from Etsy seller GreatWhiteVintage, who discovered this vintage anatomical sweatshirt with a flap showing the brains-n-stuff, and then sold it to someone else.

Weird but Awesome Sweatshirt - Body Anatomy Science Teacher - Pink Shirt (via Neatorama)

Bar needs new human toe after mystery man consumes their mummified garnish


A bar in the Yukon needs to source a new human toe, because a patron ate the one they used to use as a cocktail garnish.

The sourtoe cocktail was legendary at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City. Over 52,000 people have drunk cocktails garnished with toes at the bar, and were on notice that they faced a $500 fine if they swallowed the toe. But two weeks ago, a mysterious stranger stepped into the bar, ordered the sourtoe, drank it down, toe and all, plunked $500 on the bar, and walked out into the night.

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Anatomical maquettes of fanciful creatures


(Ganesha 2011)

Sculptor Masao Kinoshita's work comes in a variety of forms, but what really tweaks my amygdala are the anatomical maquettes of fanciful creatures. I mean, PHWOAR. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

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Molars colonized by ambitious antiquarian architecture


This pair of striking images of teeth colonized by ambitious antiquarian architecture are part of a campaign for Maxam toothpaste from JWT Shanghai; the slogan is "Don't let germs settle down."

MAXAM Civilization-Egypt / Civilization-Rome / JWT Shanghai (via JWZ)

Internal anatomy of the clitoris


A 2011 entry from the Museum of Sex by Melodiousmsm explores the internal anatomy of the clitoris, whose extent wasn't fully mapped until 2005, when Royal Melbourne Hospital urologist Helen O'Connell published her groundbreaking MRI studies. The clitoris forks internally like a wishbone, and then ramifies further. As Melodiousmsm notes, this suggests that the argument over vaginal versus clitoral orgasm has been misplaced, since the clitoris runs through the vulva and vagina.

The most interesting part of this article are the longstanding misperceptions about clitoral anatomy, the fact that science understood so little about such a significant organ for so long. The clitoris, after all, is the only organ that exists purely for the purpose of conveying pleasure, and has as much erectile tissue as a penis, but somehow it was mostly missed for literally millennia.

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