The 'grotesque beauty' of medieval Britons' diseased bones
December 9, 2013 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Digitised Diseases is an open access resource featuring human bones which have been digitised using 3D laser scanning, CT and radiography. The resource focuses on a wide range of pathological type specimens from archaeological and historical medical collections, specifically examples of chronic diseases which affect the human skeleton for which many of the physical changes are often not directly observable within clinical practice. Of major interest to many will be high fidelity photo-realistic digital representations of 3D bones that can be viewed, downloaded and manipulated on their computer, tablet or smartphone.

Launched on Monday at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the website brings together 1,600 specimens, many from people with excruciating conditions including leprosy and rickets, from stores scattered across various university and medical collections. The original crumbling bones of some specimens now available in 3D scans are too fragile to be handled. The database is intended for professionals, but is also available free to members of the public who may be fascinated by the macabre specimens.

Please note: the website is labeled "Beta". Yes, some resources are missing but there are many specimens available to explore at this stage. More about this project. Blog. Twitter.
posted by shoesfullofdust (7 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
*cough* *wheeze*
posted by Artw at 4:10 PM on December 9, 2013

I could have my own vertebral morphological anomalies?! C'mere shapeways, I want a big brass malformed bone.
posted by poe at 4:13 PM on December 9, 2013

II came for Gout and Rickets and left disappointed...
posted by KokuRyu at 4:19 PM on December 9, 2013

More port should do the trick. And no vegetables!
posted by Artw at 4:42 PM on December 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

It's linked in several of the press articles, but the earlier site on leprosy and bones is well worth a look too.
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:07 PM on December 9, 2013

posted by Renoroc at 5:42 PM on December 9, 2013

"It's important to remember that these are not just academic specimens, but the remains of real human beings - and in many cases it is clear that they were not just discarded as useless or shunned but accepted and cared for. This is by no means just a freak show." - Andrew Wilson, senior lecturer in forensic and archaeological sciences at the University of Bradford and the lead researcher on the project.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 9:22 PM on December 9, 2013

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