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The deadliest ailments on Earth, mapped by their affected tissues

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Artist and physician Odra Noel has created an arresting map of global health, plotting microscopic views of the diseased tissues that correspond to each region's deadliest illnesses.

Click here to see in hi-res.

The result is a weirdly beautiful combination of epidemiology and microscopy, simply titled "The Map of Health." North America, plagued by its obesity epidemic, is depicted as adipose tissue (fat). Central and South America are represented with pulmonary tissue, reflecting the lethal impact of smoking and respiratory illness in the region. Europe and Russia, their aging populations more susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases, are depicted with brain tissue; East Asia and the Pacific are represented with pancreatic tissue, which is affected keenly by diabetes. Much of the Middle East and central Asia, where cardiovascular diseases are on the rise, are painted with microscopic representations of heart muscle. Africa, where transmittable infections like malaria and HIV pose enormous challenges to public health, is depicted with blood cells. All data was taken from statistics gathered by the World Health Organization.


Visit Noel's website to see more of her work, and read more about The Map of Health. The map will be on display from July 2 at the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition in London.

[Odra Noel via New Scientist]