Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Breaking bones

Hey kids! Lab number three today, and it was a bit different than the first two. We did the vertebral column and spinal cord, which meant bone saws and chisels! No muscle isolations today--lots of hacking and scraping. After removing all of the erector spinae muscles down the middle of the back, we scrapped off the rest of the soft tissue and went at it with the power bone saw. We cut through the laminae of the vertebrae and used a chisel and hammer to lift away the top, leaving the spinal cord exposed. Totally cool. This is what I wish our dissection looked like:

Ours was reddish brown, a bit more hacked-away-at, and our veins and arteries weren't injected with dye (although that would be totally awesome). Other than that, pretty similar. We then split open the spinal cord and identified all of the fun stuff in there.

[By the way, the image above is from Stanford School of Medicine's awesome Basset Collection, samples of which are now available on flickr. It's a collection of photos of a serial dissection of the human body, created and photographed by a Stanford faculty member (along with a talented photographer) from 1948-1962. The collection is owned by Stanford, and they've been working with eHuman to digitalize all of the images and make them available to the public. How awesome is that?]

Anyway, it was a totally fun, albeit messy, lab. My friend Kathleen got sprayed in the face (read: mouth) with cadaveric material--that's no good, kids. No good at all.

Hope everyone else had an interesting day! Bath time for me.

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