Online journal of medical curiosities launched

(Screen grab)

(Screen grab)

Thane Burnett, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:45 PM ET

The sometimes-twisted skeletons of the departed may be reminders of wars and diseases past, but bare old bones apparently can still tell us something about compassion.

On Monday, British officials unveiled a remarkable online medical library of 1,600 specimens taken from aged corpses — empty skulls, twisted backbones, dislocated joints and vertebrae that long ago lost their attachments.

They've been rendered into 3D models and downloaded at, so researchers and doctors can study them for free, or the curious can simply click to see intimate traces of lives lived.