by Glory Turnbull
St. Mary’s University students can now see right through you with an innovative tool new to the Department of Biological Sciences.
In Fall 2018, St. Mary’s, with the help of a Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program – Title III grant, purchased the University’s first Anatomage Table — the only life-size virtual dissection tool available in the market.
Created by Anatomage, a company founded in 2004, the table comes preloaded with four virtual human cadavers, each of which are based on real cadavers that scientists pieced together digitally using thousands of photographs of their organs and systems.
The table’s content includes individual pathologies, traumas and gunshot wounds, all of which are essential to the study of life sciences. Each cadaver contains an individual case study to help students simulate the experience of dealing with a real subject.
The table allows students to virtually dissect and complete quizzes using built-in software.
St. Mary’s also used the HSI grant to hire two faculty members to teach Forensic Science courses.
“Students are able to study things like muscles which would otherwise be difficult to visualize,” said Thomas Macrini, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences.
It is often difficult and costly for universities to obtain real cadavers for dissection, so the table acts as a beneficial teaching supplement.
“In physical dissections it is much harder to visualize the separate structures present in the specimen, however through the table it is much easier to explore the individual structures,” said Valeria Hernandez, senior Biology major.
With updates included in the initial cost of the machine, the table will continue to support the Biology Department at St. Mary’s for years to come.
“The Anatomage Table helps push our Biology program into the future,” Macrini said.