Master anatomy with Google Body

by Kristen MacBride

Courtesy of Google
Courtesy of Google

People spend countless hours scrutinizing and fussing about new freckles, bad hair days and the reflection of their backside in the mirror. They know every nook and cranny of their bodies’ exterior. But underneath that freckled, pasty, rough, smooth or tan skin is a less familiar territory, the internal workings that remain a relative mystery to the common person. But now exploring the labyrinth of ventricles, arteries and nerves is made easy with the new Google Body Browser.

This new, useful and entertaining program is free and readily available to anyone who is curious or researching the wondrous workings of the human body. However, this convenient device is particularly valuable to students studying subjects requiring mastery of human anatomy.

Upon opening the program, users are greeted by a 3-D image of a generic looking male or female. Users are then able to manipulate the body’s appearance on the screen by using a layers bar. On the first level, just the exterior is displayed, but scroll down each notch on the bar and the model will reveal the underlying muscles, bones, organs, arteries, veins and nerves of the fascinating human body. The body can be rotated from all angles so the viewer can see the particular body part they are looking at from all angles, all in 3-D.

There are several more tricks and features Google Body employs to make learning the body easy. Multiple body parts can be selected and “pinned” so it will remain labeled and visible throughout any of the layers. Body parts can also be hidden or highlighted so that all other parts fade to a shadow in the background. Other noteworthy details are the ability to access the specific URL for the viewed scene, remembering purposes and, in the “links” section, allowing viewers to see certain interacting bodily systems.

For example, select the “digestive system” and all body parts involved will highlight and become singled out. Don’t know where the levator labii superiorsis is? Just make use of the search bar at the top and search for any part of the human body and it will conveniently pop up.

The possibilities for viewing and manipulating are endless, but this program serves best as a convenient, easy device for students to memorize and learn the functions of the human body. It’s sure to be better than staring at a crammed skeletal model in a textbook.