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A Double Life for a Very Visible Human

Joseph Paul Jernigan, 38, executed Texas murderer, flourishes in his resurrection in cyberspace and shows every sign of fulfilling his promise as a peerless instructor of anatomy and unique teacher of surgeons. He is also a champion sportsman whose versatility no single mortal can match. Jernigan, a.k.a. the National Library of Medicine's Visible Male, came under the spotlight of research medicine in 1994, in the form of a 15-gigabyte dataset of digitized photographs of 1,878 coronal slic

Tom Hollon

Joseph Paul Jernigan, 38, executed Texas murderer, flourishes in his resurrection in cyberspace and shows every sign of fulfilling his promise as a peerless instructor of anatomy and unique teacher of surgeons. He is also a champion sportsman whose versatility no single mortal can match.

Jernigan, a.k.a. the National Library of Medicine's Visible Male, came under the spotlight of research medicine in 1994, in the form of a 15-gigabyte dataset of digitized photographs of 1,878 coronal slices of his frozen body. His companion, the thinner-sliced and anonymous Visible Female, joined him at NLM one year later with a dowry of nearly three times as much information.

At the third biennial conference on the Visible Human Project, held Oct. 5-6 at the National Institutes of Health, anatomists and computer scientists gathered to examine the state of the art in visible human development. There was no doubt among those present that...

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