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How to dissect a body on your iPhone

  • Story Highlights
  • "Anatomy Lab" iPhone app allows users to dissect a virtual cadaver
  • Researchers say app is aimed at medical and anatomy students
  • The app has so far sold more than 3,000 copies, and is a hit with doctors too
By Mark Tutton
For CNN
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(CNN) -- A new smartphone application allows users to carry out a virtual dissection of a human body.

The iPhone app, "Anatomy Lab," allows the user to move between 40 body layers to enable dissection.

The iPhone app, "Anatomy Lab," allows the user to move between 40 body layers to enable dissection.

The iPhone app, called "Anatomy Lab," has been developed by researchers from the University of Utah and provides images of a real human cadaver.

Utah professor Mark Nielsen told CNN that the application is aimed at medical and anatomy students who might not have the opportunity to dissect a real human body, but it's also proving a hit with medical practitioners.

"A lot of medical professionals, especially in physical therapy and rehabilitative medicine, are using it to educate patients and show them the body parts they're discussing," Nielsen told CNN.

"Anatomy Lab" lets the user move between 40 separate body layers, zoom in to view different structures and rotate them to get different view points.

It started out as a computer program showing the dissection of a cadaver, beginning with the skin and moving on to subcutaneous tissue, nerves, veins, and muscles. See some of the best health monitoring apps »

Nielsen said the iPhone's touch screen is perfect for the interactive nature of the application.

"The program's so logically set up for the iPhone -- you can pinch the screen to rotate and enlarge, and tap on things to identify them," he said.

Nielsen's son, Scott Nielsen, a physics major at the University of Utah, wrote the code for the iPhone version, which has so far sold more than 3,000 copies.

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The app also comes in a cheaper, scaled-down version called "My Body," aimed at the curious amateur.

"Anatomy Lab" is the latest in a line of iPhone apps either aimed at medics, or with health benefits.

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