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Like Rosanne, I'm a big fan of historical medical images. I love museums like the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC, or the tiny International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. Which is why, if I ever take a trip to London, I'm putting the Wellcome Collection on the top of my "places to visit" list.

Unfortunately, I don't predict any transatlantic journeys in my near future, so I was glad to see that the Wellcome Collection puts some pretty cool interactive exhibits online. Their latest, Exquisite Bodies, takes visitors back some 200 years:

In the 19th century, despite the best efforts of body snatchers, the demand from medical schools for fresh cadavers far outstripped the supply. One solution to this gruesome problem came in the form of lifelike wax models. These models often took the form of alluring female figures that could be stripped and split into different sections. Other models were more macabre, showing the body ravaged by 'social diseases' such as venereal disease, tuberculosis and alcohol and drug addiction.

The museum's past exhibits are worth a look, too. Like this dizzying interactive heart (may be clunky on a slow internet connection), or this powerful exploration of death.

Image by GreenFlames09

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