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Human Body

3 2 round WIndoWs see for yourself Little was known of the interior layout, let alone the workings of the body, until remarkably recently. As Europe floundered in the Dark Ages, when cures like eating pigshit for pleurisy were in vogue, cosmopolitan Baghdad and cerebral Esfahan shone as centres of medicine, while India and China had, and still have, sophisticated systems from antiquity. Tellingly, dissection was fairly taboo in all cultures until Renaissance Italy, where the anatomists who made the first systematic cuts named their discoveries, like Fallopian and Eustachian tubes, after themselves. Animalbased errors and blind conjecture, fabricated by Galen in second century Alexandria, ruled Western ideas of anatomy until Vesalius published the first definitive map of the body in 1543, informed by an ample supply of executed convicts. Mankinds ensuing autopsy see yourself has exploded us into a biomachine of innumerable bits, mostly studied in dead humans or halfdead furry mammals, a far cry from a living unity. The living human tissue you can see most clearly without cutting someone open is an iris looking at someone elses avoids the left right error of the mirror. No two are the same, even in one head. Iridologists can see your whole body mapped onto the iris, which is mainly muscle coloured by pretty opaque pigments shielding the lightsensitive retina at the back of the eye from overexposure. Outer radial muscles dilate the pupil in the dark, balanced by an inner circle which constrict in the light, increasing depth of field. Translucent aqueous humour, filtreed from blood by tendrils behind the iris, flows freely in its catacombs, even during rapid motion.
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