Google Your Body: Body Browser

Google Labs just released a new "experiment" - Body Browser. You have to upgrade to Google Chrome beta if you don't already have it, but when you do, you can play with a 3-D, rotatable reconstruction of a (female) human body. Sliders let you fade the circulatory, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems in and out over the body organs; you can toggle labels on and off, and you can zoom, spin, and rotate in a way that would only be cooler if it were on a touchscreen iPad. (Yeah, that's what I said, Google. Do it!) Check out this screenshot:

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Toggle a few sliders and you can wrap the vessels and nerves in bone:

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And then you can add muscle:

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But by far the coolest function is the search box (It's Google - of course it has one!) As you type in the box, it guesses what you mean and zooms all over the body from structure to structure, which can be quite amusing. When you finish, it will have zoomed you in on your structure of choice, while fading everything else out:

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Coolest anatomy learning tool ever? Well, maybe not, but I still wish I had this back when I was teaching anatomy!

Sadly, it doesn't go down to cellular resolution - typing in "islets of langerhans" will get you nowhere, and it doesn't handle brain anatomy very well. There are a few structures missing - sesamoid bones, for example - as well as anything male. I assume they'll add a male version later - and who knows, maybe they'll let you zoom down to cells eventually. Until they do, it's not truly a "Google Earth for the human body". But it's still pretty darn cool.

Play with Google Chrome Body Browser here.

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