"After two to three hours, the body is transformed into a sterile coffee-colored liquid the consistency of motor oil that can be safely poured down the drain, alongside a dry bone residue similar in appearance to cremated remains." GOOD magazine: The emergence of the sustainable death industry.
Growing Out My Bush is a fascinating Tumblr where one woman explores the perception of the female body by first shaving and then photographing the re-growth of her pubic hair. Especially interesting are "The Reality of Nude Photos" and "How Breasts Can Look."
The Nazi Anatomists. "How the corpses of Hitler's victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics."
The Course of Their Lives. While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.) [more inside]
"As a climber goes up even higher in altitude, into the so-called death zone, the dangerously thin air above 26,000 feet, there is so little oxygen available that the body makes a desperate decision: it cuts off the digestive system. The body can no longer afford to direct oxygen to the stomach to help digest food because that would divert what precious little oxygen is available away from the brain. The body will retch back up anything the climber tries to eat, even if it’s as small as an M&M." -Excerpt from To the Last Breath: A Journey of Going to Extremes
Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium - "Underneath their sober lab coats and flannel shirts, scientists hide images of their scientific passions. Here they are revealed to all." From the science journalist and writer responsible for The Loom and numerous other published works.
The pancreas is a completely crummy organ...... so which parts of the human body could you design better? Interesting article and comments.
Virtual Out-of-Body Experience. Using two procedures to deliberately scramble a person's visual and tactile senses, neuroscientists are able to induce "out-of-body" experiences in people. The effect is the same as the 'rubber hand illusion', but extends the effect to the whole body instead of just one limb (you can try the hand illusion for yourself).
Body of art "Viruses, blood, and x-rays of bones and viscera can be at once unsettling and enticing." [via]
Historical anatomy models were a marriage of art and science. From about the 13th to the 19th centuries, exquisite wax models were the state of the art. Florence's La Specola anatomical wax museum houses the works of master artists, such as Ercole Lelli, Anna Morandi, and Clemente Susini. The later years of wax models tended towards the grotesque: moulage and depictions of pathological conditions and physical anomalies. Due to the labor required and delicacy of wax models, papier-mâché became the favored production method in the 19th century, partly due to the ability to dissect the models. Over time, models became more stylized to protect the delicate sensibilities of the public. Today, models are again shocking the public with extreme realism.
Just FYI, it's entirely possible for a human to survive exposure to the vacuum of space for a limited time without any permanent damage -- as long as you expel all the breath from your lungs to avoid an embolism. Horrifying scenes of sudden explosive decompression or immediate freezing are, as far as I can tell, a myth. (In other words, Mission to Mars got it wrong, 2001 got it mostly right. But that's no surprise now, is it?) Link via BadAstronomy. Love that site.