New learning tool adds new dimension to animal science lab course


Anatomage Screen Used as Table Top.AMES, Iowa – Big things are happening in Iowa State University’s animal science 214 lab. Usually taken in tandem with the animal science 214 lecture class, the lab provides students with detailed examination of organs and biological systems of domestic animals. Instructor Karl Kerns, who also is assistant professor of animal science, is excited to introduce a new tool to lab students.

“The learning tool is called the Anatomage Virtual Dissection Table,” he said. “It is preloaded with hundreds of labeled anatomical system images, as well as the ability to read native MRI or CT Scan files which makes it invaluable for topics like the circulatory system and the skeletal system.”

This cutting-edge technology uses 3D anatomy visualization with images that replicate what it looks like in a living species, Kerns said. Students can see the blood move throughout the heart and body in real time, with the valves opening and closing, which give a different perspective from a traditional specimen.

The table can lie flat like an actual table and can stand like a monitor, to fit different learning circumstances. It also has a touch screen surface for interactive learning and the entire assembly is on wheels to move from classroom to classroom.

Just a few months into its use, Kerns said the device has proved to be an invaluable learning mechanism. It offers an alternative tool for students unable to participate in traditional methods, such as those with allergies.

Kerns learned of the table from animal science faculty colleague and meat science professor Elisabeth Huff Lonergan.

“There was nothing else remotely like it on the market and she brought it to our attention as a possible learning tool for the lab,” Kerns said. “The goal is to have it supplement other animal science courses, such as ANS 270, foods of animal origin.”

(This article was written by IPIC communications assistant student Camryn Schultz as part of her Science With Practice experience.) 



IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Life Sciences) and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.





Sherry Hoyer

Sherry Hoyer.

Communications Specialist





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