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Supported by the Wellcome Trust, the website will put any objects on view for the first time, while others are also on display in the Science and Art of Medicine, Glimpses of Medical History and Health Matters galleries. They include Renaissance treasures such as anatomical wax models and books; early surgical instruments and artificial limbs.

The site initially covers ten themes, rising to sixteen in later phases, stretching back to the earliest forms of surgery and forward to the present day. They cover diseases and epidemics, medicine and belief, and the pioneers of medical science. Each subject is explored with detailed analysis and commentary by expert historians and curators.

Following the launch in spring 2009, Brought to Life will be further developed, with 4,000 objects becoming available for close examination on the site by 2011.

Visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/