Through Eolas Technologies, the museum works with a group of undergraduate students in the pre-nursing, pre-medicine and nursing programs at the University of Texas Tyler (UTT). These students have been involved in the segmentation of the National LIbrary of Medicine's Visible Human Male and Visible Human Female for AnatLab, a virtual anatomy laboratory. Approximately a dozen students have been involved in the multi-year project. Students who have participated in this project include the following:
Leveraging the data sets from the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Male, the AnatLab system acts as a navigator allowing users to explore the human body. This data set includes a series of 1,871 anatomical images which each represent 1mm axial color cross sections through a male cadaver. Web-based for remote and mobile access, AnatLab allows users to navigate through all areas of the body and investigate any section in detail with the click of a mouse. When objects are identified and highlighted by a user, web links are provided for more detailed information on the structures. Further, a search bar enables users to search for any structure within the body, which can then be viewed in an axial, sagittal, or coronal view.
The Visible Human Female data set, released in November, 1995, has the same characteristics as the The Visible Human Male. However, the axial anatomical images were obtained at 0.33 mm intervals. Spacing in the "Z" dimension was reduced to 0.33mm in order to match the 0.33mm pixel sizing in the "X-Y" plane. As a result, developers interested in three-dimensional reconstructions are able to work with cubic voxels. There are 5,189 anatomical images in the Visible Human Female data set. The data set size is approximately 40 gigabytes.
The UT Tyler Anatomy & Physiology (A & P) instructors assembled a team of annotators comprised of previous or current A & P students. As an effort to supplement the UT Tyler A & P instructors' efforts, the team explored how AnatLab could be used in the A & P course. The team identified the course's main topics and created useful lists of anatomical objects linked to these main topics for use in 2D views and 3D reconstructions. The team categorized AnatLab's anatomical objects into organ systems to match the nursing curriculum's system approach to teaching anatomy and by anatomical region to match the medical school curriculum. AnatLab's anatomical objects were categorized using MeSH codes, the National Library of Medicine - Medical Subject Headings codes, which can categorize anatomical structures by body region and by organ system. MeSH is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus. It consists of sets of terms naming descriptors in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity. (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/mesh.html).
The annotation team also annotated anatomical objects of the male that were particularly useful in the nursing curriculum, such as veins and tendons. The team began AnatLab's segmentation of the Visible Human Female in the pelvic region, completing many important objects of the region. Their work has been vital to the annotation of new objects and continuing quality control testing of the AnatLab program.