The latest casualty of Google Labs' closure is Google Body - but in this case there's a good chance for revitalisation.
Google Body is a detailed 3D model of the human body widely used by students, teachers, and others with an interest in anatomy.
You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, navigate to parts that interest you, search for and click to identify, muscles, organs, bones and more.
Luckily it is seen as too useful simply to be retired and Google has a two-prong approach for it's new incarnation. Firstly it is working on open-sourcing the code that powers Google Body so that anyone will be able to create and run a searchable 3D viewer.
In conjunction with Zygote Media Group, it is also contributing to an application called Zygote Body that will be free, available on the web and on Android, and will enable continued access to a human anatomy browser.
If you want to try it out at the Google Labs site (the app hasn't changed URL yet) you will need a web browser that supports WebGL, such as Google Chrome to view. It also works with the latest version of Firefox but noticeably not as fast. If you just want a guided tour then watch the video:
As well as being a useful application in its own right it is also a very good example of how WebGL can produce results that are amazing for a web browser app. How can Microsoft not support WebGL in IE and hope to have a web browser that compete with either Firefox or Chrome?
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