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Brainstem, spinal cord images hidden in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco
Date:7/28/2010

ays Suk.

Suk adds that the strategically placed brainstem might also explain another unusual feature of the painting. In this same image, God is depicted in a red robe with an odd tubular structure depicted in the chest. Although God wears the same red robe in other images in the fresco, this tubular structure is absent elsewhere. The structure has the right placement, shape, and size to be a spinal cord, say the researchers, suggesting another piece of hidden anatomy in the artwork.

Tamargo and Suk explain that, if their proposition is correct, it wouldn't be the first time that such concealed anatomical depictions have been proposed to exist in the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. In 1990, Frank Lynn Meshberger, an obstetrician based in Indiana, published a paper suggesting that the shroud surrounding the image known as the Creation of Adam strongly resembles an anatomically correct brain.

"It looks like the central nervous system may have been too good a motif to use only once," Tamargo says.

The two researchers plan to continue searching for other hidden pieces of anatomy elsewhere in the Sistine Chapel painting.


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Contact: Christen Brownlee
cbrownlee@jhmi.edu
410-955-7832
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert  

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