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A Southern California high school has banned frog dissections in biology classrooms, using software instead

A Southern California high school has banned frog dissections in biology classrooms, switching to software instead.

Next, virtual surgeries on humans: you just make believe the doctor operates on you. It is certainly more humane than forcing someone to actually use a scalpel on a real body!

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

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  • Blair Ivey

    When I took high school biology the highlight of the year were the dissections: a frog and the biggest damn earthworm I’ve ever seen. It was neat to actually see and put hands on the things we’ed only previously seen on books. Software, no matter how fancy, isn’t going to be any more ‘real’ than illustrations in a book. I wonder if the software lets students put electricity to the nerve and make the leg jump.

    My favorite quote from the article: “Proponents of virtual dissection programs say they are more humane and safer than touching animals preserved with formaldehyde”

    More humane than what? The animal’s already dead.

  • jwing

    When I was in medical school we had gross anatomy lab with donated human cadavers (one for every two students). We also had what was called “dog lab” where old hound dogs, that would have been euthanized, were surgically prepped and anesthetized and had their chests opened in order for us to study a living circulatory system and the effect of drugs on it. (The canine circulatory system is very similiar to ours). Students had a choice to opt out of the dog lab but not out of the human agross amatomy course. PETA was protesting this type of course at the time and it was controversial.
    Persoanally, I went to the dog lab and found it very helpful but somewhat disturbing and upsetting, as I am a dog owner/lover. While vivisection has been invaluable in the past to further medical science’s understanding of the human condition, it was more a lesson in getting greasy and covered in formalyn (formmaldehyde), which is considered a possible carcinogen. I spent hours with a scalpel digging through human fat trying to find a particular artery or nerve and smelling of it for days. It was more a lesson in fine eye hand coordination and that time could better have been spent with my face in a book. Also, a preserved human body is very different in color, texture and elasticity from a living body and while the anatomy is right, unless on is going into surgery, it is not that iimportant for a first year medical student.

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