Kai Kostack has recently posted an amazing video tour of the human body using Blender. The simulation is in real time and hasn't been possible until now, thanks to the latest GLSL features and speedups of Blender over the past year.
Just a quick warning:
Highly sensitive people should be aware that this video shows a cadaver and nudity before they click one of the following links.
Kai Kostack explains:
"In this demonstration you are about to see a little (10 minutes) tour through a real female human body (age 59) from the Visual Human Project. Everything is real-time recorded.
The shown "block" consists of 1746 x 570 x 666 cells in resolution. It's a plain stack of hundreds of planes each mapped with slice of the dataset. i have written a script to fully automate the process of conversion. It is rendered by a basic GeForce 8600 GT with 512 MB of video memory on top of a 2,4 GHz Quad-Core system with 4 GB of memory. "
And the process of acquiring the data for this 3D representation:
"From Wiki: The female cadaver was encased and frozen in a gelatin and water mixture in order to stabilize the specimen for cutting. The specimen was then â€œcutâ€ in the axial plane at .33 millimeter intervals, resulting in some 40 gigabytes of data. The process of grinding the surface away is entirely destructive to the specimen and leaves no usable or preservable â€œsliceâ€ of the cadaver.
So yes, you better be dead to get a scan. "
This is clearly a powerful and very interesting application of Blender, which could have many uses in the medical world. The full video can be downloaded, watched on Youtube or watched on Vimeo. Theres also a thread on Blenderartists for discussion and further information.