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Medical image manna

Resin skull

Incredible medical images hidden away in the archives are starting to show up online en masse. The latest source I've come across comes courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, a division of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

The archives contain 500,000 scans of medical photographs and illustrations so far, with another 225,000 to be digitized this year. A small sampling is available on the museum's online gallery, but to make the images more easily accessible, the staff has posted more than 600 on Flickr over the past few months. Search "skull" and you'll find everything from a skull pierced by Native American arrow head in 1804 to a resin model used to create a cranial plate for a brain injury patient in Iraq in 2004.

Another recently unveiled source of free medical images is Stanford's treasure trove of hundreds of human dissection photos. The work of David Bassett, MD, a master dissectionist, and William Gruber, inventor of the Viewmaster, the photographs were created to be viewed through special glasses in 3-D. Now they're online -- and spectacular, even in plain old 2-D. The school made them available online in November.

Via Boing Boing

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