“Grosstober” Science Cafe to feature weird,strange,odd medical images
October 8th, 2015
This monthâ€™s Science CafÃ© at the Slowdown Bar in Omaha will feature some gross, odd, and unusual medical images from the UNMC McGoogan Library of Medicine. KVNO Newsâ€™ Ryan Robertson previews the â€œGrosstoberâ€ event.
John Schleicher is the head of special collections at the McGoogan Library of Medicine on the University of Nebraska Medical Center Campus. Erin Torell is an archives associate there, and walking into their office, you see some strange stuff.
â€œGangrene from diabetes on the left foot in this one,â€ Schleicher said, â€œwith infection. Oh, and then they amputated above the knee, because of the gang green.â€
Schleicher was describing an artistsâ€™ rendition of a medical malady. Called a moulage, itâ€™s a wax on plaster piece of art that was once used to teach doctors what different medical conditions looked like, so they could make more informed diagnosis.
There are around 100 moulages in the McGoogan library. The gangrene moulages are pretty disturbing, but Schleicher and Torell said theyâ€™re not the worst to look at; the moulages featuring syphilitic sores, those are the worst.
â€œEspecially the genital syphilitic sores,â€ Schleicher said, â€œItâ€™s a good thing thatâ€™s kind of gone away, hasnâ€™t gone away completely, but theyâ€™re pretty scary.â€
Schleicher and Torell will present dozens of moulages and other images of weird, gross, or unusual medical conditions for the October Science CafÃ©, sponsored by UNMC. The title of the presentation is aptly named â€œGrosstober.â€
In addition to moulages and books from World War detailing amputations and gunshot wounds, Torell said sheâ€™d also be presenting a series of stereoscope cards, which have the same images placed next to each other in a handheld device.
â€œYou look through the lenses,â€ Torell explained, â€œand it would create one 3D image. These were used in the classroom for educational purposes. But it has a slight 3D effect that makes them even more gross.â€
Torell said some images from the archives are just too graphic to share publicly, but that doesnâ€™t mean Grosstober wonâ€™t live up to its name.
â€œThey can be a little, little too much,â€ Torell said, â€œThey might turn your stomach a little bit, some of them. Especially the ones that are in color.â€
The images at Grosstober will have a historic feel, but Schleicher said some of the conditions they depict are anything but history.
â€œScabies. We have this historical image of it but it’s something that’s still around, especially in third world countries,â€ Schleicher said, â€œI heard the other day about a doctor dealing with scabies in a refugee camp in Europe with all the incoming refugees. So there are still things that are out there that maybe we don’t have to deal with so much in the in the Western world, but there are things that other people in the world are still dealing with.â€
The October 13th Grosstober Science CafÃ© is at the Slowdown Bar, across from TD Ameritrade Park, in Omaha. The event starts at 7pm. You must be 21 or older to get in and pizza will be given to the first 50 peopleâ€¦.but with pictures of things like cavernous sinus thrombosis, metastatic tumors, and carcinoma of the colonâ€¦maybe show up after the pizza is gone.
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