The practice of medicine and conduct of research in major segments of the biologic sciences have always relied on visualizations to study the relationship of anatomic structure to biologic function. Traditionally, these visualizations have either been direct, via vivisection and postmortem examination, or have required extensive mental reconstruction. The revolutionary capabilities of 3-D and 4-D medical imaging modalities, together with computer reconstruction and rendering of multidimensional medical and histological volume image data, obviate the need for physical dissection or abstract assembly. The availability of the Visible Human Datasets from the National Library of Medicine, coupled with the development of advanced computer algorithms to accurately and rapidly process, segment, register, measure, and display high resolution 3-D images, has provided a rich opportunity to help advance these important new imaging, visualization, and analysis methodologies from scientific theory to clinical practice.
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