Fascinating Histology-Print Plates

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Another one for lovers of anatomical-themed treasures. Medical illustrator Emily Evans has created these beautiful plates printed with images taken under the microscope of human tissue. They’ve been stained in pretty pastel colours, and you could eat your dinner off a section of the testicle, oesophagus, thyroid or five other designs. They’re selling out quickly, get them while you can! I’d seen Emily’s work before, and I love how she combines in-depth knowledge of anatomical science (she teaches dissection in addition to her illustration work) with art.

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Closet Skeletons – Halloween Inspiration

Photo by Pauline Darley. 

It’s less than a month until the dress-up event of the year (Purim excluded), it’s the Goth Xmas, it’s Halloween! And I have already begun scheming about outfits Some of the best/funniest costumes I see each year are based on recent cultural references (who’s going as one of the Avengers, Effie Trinket or Christian Grey this time?) or an extremely poor taste zombie version of a recently dead celebrity. Or this could be a chance to, Mean Girls-style, wear your most revealing costume under the guise of fancy-dress (teenage sex-worker seems to be a popular choice year on year). What are you planning on wearing? (What do you mean you’d not thought about it yet?!)

Personally, I think I’ll be going for something a bit more elegant. At the moment I’m drawing on my love of things anatomical and considering going for something with a skeletal-theme (though not day-of-the-dead sugar skulls, they’ve been done rather to…death).

 I’ve completely fallen in love with this embroidered body-suit from Marchesa. The detail is beautiful and I like how the sheer fabric shows off the body, whilst juxtaposing the bones on the outside, a gilded exo-skeleton. I’d like to wear this under a low cut dress, so the golden ribs would show across the chest (or wear it on it’s own to a rather wilder party!). Kirsten Stewart wore a dress from this collection to the Snow White and the Huntsman premier.

Other beautiful examples of the skeleton in fashion are this amazing leather harness from Zana Bayne (this too would look good over or under something more floaty and feminine. NSFW image here. I’m particularly taken with the detachable arms (complete with ulna and radius) and finger-harnesses.

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Quest To See Inside My Head – Getting my brain scanned

I would really like to have my brain scanned. As someone with a big interest in psychology and neuroscience, I think seeing what’s inside my skull would pull everything together, put it into context, make it real.

It’s not that I don’t believe it’s in there, but sometimes it feels somewhat distant, the colour-coded textbook diagrams, the plastic models, you wonder ‘Is that really going on, inside MY body?’ I think a small part of me holds the irrational belief that inside me is just space, or machine cogs. All those instricate processes that I learned about in biology lessons, that can’t all be really going on. I get a strange enjoyment from seeing the outline of bones, blood vessels, tendons, and feeling like I’m getting a glimpse of the workings of this human machine. It does feel strange that it’s all happening, it’s such a part of me, yet I’m often so oblivious to it.

I took an open unit in anatomy at university and for one of our first dissection classes we formed groups and were given a cat’s head, instructed to remove the brain. So we did. And then it sat there, this little mound of grey putty, so fragile, on the sterile table surface. I’d never seen a real brain before, and all the diagrams and photos, it didn’t really prepare me for how flimsy and squishy it seemed, so easily damaged. And how all the different lobes, the cranial nerves, which I’d learnt to identify and label so particularly, they all looked the same, all rolled together into this bundle of grey mush. It seemed no wonder that a quick jolt to the head can do so much damage, when the skulls’s so hard and the brain’s so delicate. It seemed amazing that people don’t damage their brains more than they do already.

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Let’s get anatomical

Fernando Vicente

I love medical, anatomy and brain-based art and design. One of my (and many a med-student’s) favourite university texts was a  colouring-in anatomy book where you coloured the different parts of the body (and learnt their names, sometimes). On my wall hangs a cross-stitched uterus, complete with sparkling golden ovaries. Yesterday a friend gave me a little toy neuron. It’s not exactly to scale, but it’s furry! I was overjoyed. So yes, this is the kind of thing I like. I’m often sharing links to strange and wonderful things I find. I thought I’d share a few of my favourite online collections:

http://streetanatomy.com – Anatomy + Pop culture. This is exactly what I love.

http://www.whokilledbambi.co.uk/ – Contemporary Art Blog. Covered low-brow, unusual and controversial art of many mediums. Often has quite a bit of anatomical goodness.

http://articulomortis.tumblr.com/ – A wonderful archive of medical images. Includes photos, x-rays and scans, old-fashioned diagrams, images of specimen and diseases.

http://harbaugh.uoregon.edu/Brain/ – ‘The world’s largest collection of anatomically correct fabric brain art’. It’s not a big collection, but it’s rather wonderful.