The Brain Scoop: Cheetah scan 

Last Saturday, The Brain Scoop team, along with Anna Goldman and anthropologist/conservationist JP Brown (not pictured because he was photographing) ventured to The University of Illinois Chicago Hospital Radiology department in order to create a CT (computed topography) scan of a skinned, pickled cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). The skeleton from the renderings will be 3-D printed and articulated as part of our upcoming biomechanics exhibition, opening next year. 

The possibilities are really endless for this procedure! JP has an incredible amount of experience with scanning and printing specimens and artifacts from The Field Museum’s collections. In the past he’s scanned mummies in order to be able to study every level of their topography without ever having to open a casket or peel back an encasing, and the body never has to be touched by human hands. In the case of this cheetah, we wanted a way to share our biomechanics exhibit with other museums across the world without having to worry about laws or restrictions on transporting a large protected feline or its remains. In addition to that, 3-D printed bones don’t require the same level of care, since (if funding was ideally endless) we could always print another one. 

Thanks to JP Brown for the photos! Click them for descriptions.