Category: Blog

Shaping Our World With the Human Hand

Long before humans became recognized as the animal kingdom’s predominant tool makers, our primate ancestors developed the five-fingered hands that would one day allow us to manipulate everything from prehistoric hammerstones to a spacecraft’s flight controls. With a complex structure that includes 27 bones, 29 joints and more than 100 distinct ligaments, our hands give… Read more »

Illustrating the Brainstem – The Core of Our Consciousness

Long before the prefrontal cortex gave humans the ability to express ourselves and engage in complex decision-making processes, our early ancestors were guided by a much simpler, more primitive brain. Today, we can still find evidence of this early brain buried deep beneath more recently-evolved structures like the parietal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum…. Read more »

Take an Up-Close Look at Bronchial Asthma in Action

According to the World Health Organization, there are between 100 and 150 million people who suffer from symptoms of bronchial asthma around the globe. Although many people are able to live normal, healthy lives with this common respiratory illness, it claims the lives of more than 180,000 people each year. Asthma attacks can also be… Read more »

Illustrating a Congenital Heart Defect

When you consider how complex the process of prenatal development is, it seems remarkable that healthy babies are born at all. Every now and then, however, babies are born with a rare congenital defect that causes the large vessels in their heart to be connected in ways that are contrary to their normal orientation. This… Read more »

The Human Knee is an Anatomical Marvel

Of all the joints in the human body, the knee is perhaps the most impressive. Not only is it the largest and most complex joint in the body, it’s also fundamental to our ability to walk upright. In contrast to the knees of other primate species, our knees are capable of extending fully, allowing us… Read more »

Surgical Illustrations are Indispensable Teaching Tools

We might like to think that surgeons are born knowing how to perform life-saving operations, but even the most talented and experienced surgeons start out as medical students. It takes a long time before aspiring surgeons are ready to operate on live human beings; first, they must gain a detailed understanding of the inner-workings of… Read more »

Yoga Illustrations Can Improve Instructional Techniques

Downward facing dog. Tree Pose. Warrior Pose. These are all terms you’re probably familiar with thanks to the rising popularity of yoga in the West. In just a few decades, yoga has gone from being a niche curiosity to a widely-accepted therapeutic practice. Chances are, you don’t have to look too far to find a… Read more »

Detailed Illustrations Depict Microscopic Cell Processes

Apoptosis, or cell destruction in response to chemotherapy.

Within each of us exists a microscopic world where trillions of cells work together to sustain life.  Until very recently, the behavior of those cells remained a mystery to scientists and physicians.  Thanks to the advent of the electron microscope, however, scientists in the 20th century were finally able to make direct observations of organisms… Read more »

How Are Medical Illustrations Used in Court Cases?

When you think of places where you might find highly-detailed medical illustrations, the first thing that comes to mind might be a doctor’s office or med school textbook. But did you know that medical illustrations are commonly used in legal proceedings as well? These aren’t the rough courtroom sketches you see on TV. Rather, these… Read more »

Association of Medical Illustrators Conference Coming in July

The Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) will be holding their annual conference at the Mayo Client at the end of July. This is a high anticipated annual event for medical illustrators around the country, and it’s been happening since 1945. You might think that medical illustration is no longer needed in a time where nearly… Read more »