Alan Hawk, a museum collections manager, turns the key on a big light blue locker, opens a drawer and reveals some of history's treasures: sections of bullet-pierced vertebrae from both President James Garfield and Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.

What's there: 25 million artifacts, including body parts from 6,000 Civil War soldiers; hearts, brains and bones; and body parts from historical figures

Next to them is a little jar containing President Dwight Eisenhower's gallstones. And in a nearby cabinet is the full skeleton of Able, the first monkey sent into space.

Joseph Paul Jernigan, a 39-year-old Texas convict executed by lethal injection, was one of two bodies – a male and a female – donated for the visible-human project. The bodies were embedded with gelatin, frozen and then cut crosswise into nickel-thick slices and then photographed. The result: A 3-D database of digital images showing the flesh and blood geography of the human body.

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