In 1965, while I was a student of Human Anatomy at Kurnool Medical College, I had the opportunity to know about Dr. J. C. B. Grant (1886-1973), the author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy. The 5th Edition of his Atlas was published in 1962 and was available in India in our Medical College Library.
Born in Loanhead (south of Edinburgh) in 1886, Grant studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and graduated with an M.B., Ch.B. degree in 1908. While at Edinburgh, he worked under the renowned anatomist Daniel John Cunningham.
Grant became a decorated serviceman of the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War before moving to Canada. He established himself as an ‘anatomist extraordinary’ at the University of Toronto, publishing three textbooks that form the basis of Grant’s Anatomy. The textbooks are still used in anatomy classes today, and made unforgettable memories for those who found themselves in his classes nearly a century ago. One of Grant’s many accomplishments was establishing a division of histology within the department.
As a medical student, I used Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, the seminal work of Scottish-born Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant, who would become the chair of Anatomy at the University of Toronto in 1930 and retired in 1965.
John Charles Boileau Grant (1886–1973)
The author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy (1943), Grant used to train thousands of medical students around the world. He came to University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine from University of Manitoba (and previously Edinburgh), and was Chair of the Department of Anatomy there from 1930 to 1965. Although he is best known for this famous atlas, his research and teaching also included biological anthropology, as evidenced by such work as Anthropometry of the Cree and Saulteaux Indians in Northeastern Manitoba (Archaeological Survey of Canada 1929). The human skeletal collection he formed, the “J.C.B. Grant Collection,” is still a core collection for human osteology in the Department of Anthropology at University of Toronto. He is also remembered in the Grant’s Museum at the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto. This museum, with its displays of anatomical specimens, many of which were dissected by Grant himself, continues to be used in an active learning environment by more than 1000 students each year.
Students continue to use Grant’s textbooks today, and for the more artistic anatomist there’s even a Grant’s Anatomy Coloring Book, published in 2018.
At the University of Toronto, Dr.McMurrich, Chair of Anatomy was succeeded as chairman in 1930 by Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant. Dr. Grant wrote three text books, of which “An Atlas of Anatomy” (published in 1943) rapidly gained international prominence and is still, one of the most widely used anatomical atlases in the world. It is now known as “Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy” and is in its tenth edition. The atlas was based on a series of elegant dissections done either by Grant or by others under his supervision. Many of these dissections are currently housed in Grant’s Museum at the University of Toronto.
The Rudi-Grant Connection is about knowing the man, the building blocks and the structural units and organization of the human body. To defend the human existence, the Rudi-Grant Connection lays the emphasis on knowing the person who is at risk apart from knowing the agent posing the risk.
THE IDENTITY OF MULTICELLULAR HUMAN ORGANISM:
Daniel John Cunningham was born on 15 April 1850 in Scotland. After his initial schooling at his home town, Crieff, he took up the study of medicine at the University of Edinburgh and passed with honours. He is best known for the excellent series of dissection manuals, namely Cunningham’s Dissection Manuals. Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy has provided me the learning tools to know and understand Man’s External and Internal Reality and its Identity as described by Cells, Tissues, Organs,and Organ Systems.
I learned the truths about the living human body and about Life while dissecting the dead human bodies in a systematic manner. The Manual of Practical Anatomy which guides us through this entire process was published in England. The author Dr. Daniel John Cunningham prepared the Manual while dissecting cadavers of British or Irish citizens. He had never encountered cadavers of Indian citizens. At Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India, where I was a student, the Department of Anatomy obtains dead bodies from Government General Hospital Kurnool and most of the deceased are the poor, illiterate, and uneducated people of that region. None of the deceased had the chance to know this man called Cunningham and Cunningham had no knowledge about the existence of these people who arrive on our dissection tables. But, as the dissection of the human body proceeds, inch, by inch, we recognize the anatomical parts as described by Cunningham. The manual also lists some anatomical variations and we very often exchange information between various dissection tables and recognize the variations mentioned. The dissections also involve slicing the organs and studying them, both macroscopically, and microscopically. We did not miss any part of the human body. So what is the Identity of this Human person or Human subject? How does the living Human organism maintain its Identity and Individuality? Apart from the Cultural Traditions of India, several Schools of Religious Thought claim that the Human Individual and its Identity is represented by Human Soul. Where does this soul exist in the human body? What is the location if the soul is present in the living person? Does man have a soul? How does the human organism acquires Knowledge about its own structures and the functions they perform?
How does the multicellular human organism recognizes its own Identity and Individuality?
A brief glance at the face is enough for most people to identify one another. However, man does not exist with the same identity during the course of his life. The word identity describes the condition or fact of being a specific person. Identification is the process by which a person can be identified in an accurate and consistent manner. The morphological or the external appearance of a person is subject to constant changes and it differs in a significant manner during the various stages of life such as infancy, boyhood, adulthood, and old age. The term individuality describes the sum of the characteristics or qualities that set one person apart from others. The condition of being individual, or different from others establishes the indivisibility of man. Man is unique, original, one kind of person who has not existed before and would not also exist in future even when he shares the same identical genome. Two identical twins could be correctly identified as two different individuals. I had proposed the Law of Individuality and Creation which claims that man exists as Individual and has no choice in this conditioned nature of subjective physical existence in the world. Man can only exist as Individual with Individuality.
The Identification Technology:
Biometrics is that branch of Biology which deals with its data statistically and by mathematical analysis. Using Fingerprints is the oldest method of Identification using biometric information. People have tiny ridges of skin on their fingers. These ridges form through a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The genetic makeup, the position of the fetus in the womb, and the composition and density of surrounding amniotic fluid play a role in how every individual ridge on the skin surface of finger will form. Fingerprints are a unique marker for a person, even an identical twin. Fingerprint analysis can define the differences between two fingerprint impressions.
The Fingerprint is electronically read. The corrugated ridges of the skin are non-continuous and form a pattern that has distinguishing features or minutiae. Two varieties of Fingerprint scanning technology are currently used; the optical Fingerprint scanners and the Capacitance Fingerprint scanner that uses a computerized analysis.
Iris Recognition Technology:
Iris Scanners use pattern recognition techniques based on images of the irides(Irises) of an individual’s eyes.
No two irides being the same, even in identical twins, individuals could be identified with accuracy and consistency.
A small sample of DNA is amplified by using Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR. In a method described as Short Tandem Repeat Analysis, it is examined to find how often base pairs repeat in specific locations or loci on a given DNA strand. These can be dinucleotide, trinucleotide, tetranucleotide, or pentanucleotide repeats; that is repetition of 2, 3, 4, or 5 base pairs. Very often, the investigator looks for tetranucleotide or pentanucleotide repeats in the DNA sample.
The likelihood that any two individuals( except identical twins ) will have the same 13-loci DNA profile can be as high as 1 in 1 billion or greater.
Biometric Facial Recognition Technology:
Every face has numerous distinguishable landmarks, the different peaks and valleys that make up facial features. These landmarks are known as nodal points. Each human face has approximately 80 nodal points.
Distance between the eyes, width of the nose, depth of the eye sockets, the shape of the cheekbones, the length of the jawline and other features are used as nodal points. These nodal points are measured creating a numerical code called a face print, representing the face in the database and comparison is made between images of face. 2D or 3D image of a person’s face uses distinct features of the face where rigid tissue and bone is most apparent, such as the curves of the eye socket, nose, and chin to identify the subject.
Unique templates are created from measurements between key points on the face and these measurements provide identification of the individual.
Skin Biometrics – Skin Surface Texture Analysis:
The Surface Texture Analysis algorithm operates on the top percentage of results as determined by the Local feature analysis. This method creates a Skin Print and performs either a 1:1 or 1:N match for verification or identification. It can identify the differences between identical twins.
Identity, Individuality, and Consciousness:
Man describes his identity in terms of his personal name, age, gender, race, ethnicity, place of origin, language, religion, political, occupational, or social affiliation. In reality, the man is an association of trillions of individual cells.
The human organism is a conscious being and the function called consciousness achieves functional unity of all these individual cells and works for the benefit of the individual who always maintains his individuality.
This is possible because individual cells have the ability to recognize the presence of other living cells in their environment and display functional subordination to serve the purpose of the whole organism.