Stereologic methods and their application in kidney research.
Stereologic methods are used to obtain quantitative information about three-dimensional structures based on observations from section planes or--to a limited degree--projections. Stereologic methods, which are used in biologic research and especially in the research of normal and pathologic kidneys, will be discussed in this review. Special emphasis will be placed on modern stereologic methods, free of assumptions of the structure, size, and shape, etc., so-called UFAPP (unbiased for all practical purposes) stereologic methods. The basic foundation of all stereology, sampling, will be reviewed in relation to most of the methods discussed. Estimation of error variances and some of the basic problems in stereology will be reviewed briefly. Finally, a few comments will be made about the future directions for stereology in kidney research. (+info
Terminologia anatomica: new terminology for the new anatomist.
Over many years, anatomical terminology has been the subject of much controversy and disagreement. Previously, the International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee has been responsible for the production of six editions of Nomina Anatomica. In 1989 a new committee, the Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT), was created by its parent body, the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA). FCAT has worked for 9 years and published Terminologia Anatomica (TA) in 1998. FCAT's aim has been to democratize the terminology and make it the internationally accepted, living language of anatomy. The worldwide adoption of the same terminology would eliminate national differences, which were causing extreme confusion in instances where the same structure was known by several names. The new terminology is thus the result of worldwide consultation and contains Latin and equivalent English terms. It is indexed in Latin and English and contains an index of eponyms in order to find the correct non-eponymous term. The future goal of FCAT is to continue to improve the terminology-new structures are described, different terms come into use, and the terminology needs to be expanded to include terms used by clinicians for structures that currently do not appear in the list. Future versions of the terminology must accommodate the needs of all who use it, both in the clinical and scientific worlds. (+info
Impact factors: use and abuse in biomedical research.
Impact factors are increasingly being used as measures in the process of academic evaluation; however, the pitfalls associated with such use of impact factors are not always appreciated. Impact factors have limited use as criteria in determining the quality of scientific research. Classical anatomists may be actively discriminated against if journal impact factors are used as measures of scientific merit in comparison with colleagues in more popular or faster-moving disciplines such as molecular biology. Research evaluation based on citation rates and journal impact factors is inappropriate, unfair, and an increasing source of frustration. (+info
Spilling the beans on java 3D: a tool for the virtual anatomist.
The computing world has just provided the anatomist with another tool: Java 3D, within the Java 2 platform. On December 9, 1998, Sun Microsystems released Java 2. Java 3D classes are now included in the jar (Java Archive) archives of the extensions directory of Java 2. Java 3D is also a part of the Java Media Suite of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). But what is Java? How does Java 3D work? How do you view Java 3D objects? A brief introduction to the concepts of Java and object-oriented programming is provided. Also, there is a short description of the tools of Java 3D and of the Java 3D viewer. Thus, the virtual anatomist has another set of computer tools to use for modeling various aspects of anatomy, such as embryological development. Also, the virtual anatomist will be able to assist the surgeon with virtual surgery using the tools found in Java 3D. Java 3D will be able to fulfill gaps, such as the lack of platform independence, interactivity, and manipulability of 3D images, currently existing in many anatomical computer-aided learning programs. (+info
Going digital: image preparation for biomedical publishing.
Authors are more often being held responsible for readying their own data figures for digital publication by scanning them at the proper resolution and preparing them for presentation in both print and on-line journals. In this manner, the visuals can be printed at the highest quality the publisher can provide and be ready for rapid electronic distribution on the Internet. Therefore, authors must become knowledgeable in the visual preparation process in order to generate electronic images that will be as true a representation of the original image as possible. Perfecting this procedure can be a learning experience and often requires some experimentation. When accomplished, the author will have more control of exactly how the images will look before they are published. In addition to the scan resolution, the type of digital scanner and software applications used are very important, and instruction manuals should be followed closely so as to understand the full potential of the digitizing equipment. Anat Rec (New Anat): 257:128-136, 1999. (+info
Influence of the Digital Anatomist Foundational Model on traditional representations of anatomical concepts.
A principled and logical representation of the structure of the human body has led to conflicts with traditional representations of the same knowledge by anatomy textbooks. The examples which illustrate resolution of these conflicts suggest that stricter requirements must be met for semantic consistency, expressivity and specificity by knowledge sources intended to support inference than by textbooks and term lists. These next-generation resources should influence traditional concept representation, rather than be constrained by convention. (+info
Conceptualization of anatomical spatial entities in the Digital Anatomist Foundational Model.
Anatomical spatial concepts are indispensable in educational and clinical discourse, yet a system for representing these concepts has not been proposed. Guided by explicit principles and definitions of the Digital Anatomist Foundational Model, we developed an ontology of spaces, surfaces, lines and points that are associated with anatomical structures. Ontologies for Anatomical Structure and Anatomical Spatial Entity were instantiated for the thorax, abdomen, pelvis and perineum. Representing the concepts in--part of--hierarchies as well, provided formative evaluation of the classification. We invite empirical evaluation of the Foundational Model through its use for educational and clinical applications. (+info
The Virtual Pelvic Floor, a tele-immersive educational environment.
This paper describes the development of the Virtual Pelvic Floor, a new method of teaching the complex anatomy of the pelvic region utilizing virtual reality and advanced networking technology. Virtual reality technology allows improved visualization of three-dimensional structures over conventional media because it supports stereo vision, viewer-centered perspective, large angles of view, and interactivity. Two or more ImmersaDesk systems, drafting table format virtual reality displays, are networked together providing an environment where teacher and students share a high quality three-dimensional anatomical model, and are able to converse, see each other, and to point in three dimensions to indicate areas of interest. This project was realized by the teamwork of surgeons, medical artists and sculptors, computer scientists, and computer visualization experts. It demonstrates the future of virtual reality for surgical education and applications for the Next Generation Internet. (+info