Students can now dissect frogs in the biology lab over the Internet, thanks to Silicon Valley boffins.
Stanford University researchers in the US have come up with the Frog Island Web site which lets squeamish students view a computer simulated frog from any angle. Press a key, and the frog becomes transparent so you can see its internal organs. Other commands include dissecting muscles, without having to touch or smell the frog.
The frog is the first creation of the Virtual Creatures project at the Stanford University Medical Media and Information Technologies Group (Summit). Parvati Dev, director of the group, said it hopes to continue its work by digitising other lab animals including rats and mice.
The image for the virtual frog is created by freezing a real frog, embedding it in gelatine, cutting it into slices less than a millimetre thick and then digitising them, explained Dev. The Group does not expect the Virtual Creatures to replace dissection lessons for students but believes it is an excellent option for those who do not want to major in anatomy or who bypass biology at school because they cannot stand blood and gore.
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