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This content is taken from the University of Basel's online course, Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds You have come a long way during the last weeks. You learned to understand shape models and to build your own models using Scalismo.

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 seconds Now, let us look into a further application: biological anthropology.

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds Imagine somebody finds a fragment of a human mandible beneath the autumn leaves.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds How did it end up here?

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds To whom did it belong? One way to answer these questions is to complete the fragment in a way that allows further identification. Maybe, even modelling certain characteristic features in accordance with their statistical occurrence. Later, the results might be checked against parameters of missing persons. This is where biological anthropology comes in. Meet Dr. Stefan Schlager. He works in the Department of Biological Anthropology at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds He is a pioneering expert in the field of shape modelling, a wizard when it comes to pushing the envelope of what shape modelling can do. A reconstruction based on a mandible was one of the early assignments he solved for shape modelling.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 seconds But today, he uses software to go even further.

Skip to 2 minutes and 14 seconds He models faces and implants to support surgeons like Dr. Metzger.

Skip to 2 minutes and 23 seconds He might help answer how a shattered bone has to be reconstructed during surgery.

Shape modelling in biological anthropology

In this course we have been focussing mainly on medical applications of shape modelling. Here we take you on a visit to Dr Stefan Schlager, a biological anthropologist who also works with shape models.

He shows us the reconstruction of a skull based only on a fragment found in a wood - a forensic application. This research on the reconstruction of missing or shattered bone is also made available to surgeons like Dr Metzger, whom we met at the beginning of Week 5 of this course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy

University of Basel