(BBC News) An embalming technique pioneered in Austria that produces near life-like cadavers for medical use is set to improve surgical skills and accelerate the adoption of new surgical techniques and technology.

Using a process developed over several decades, the so-called Thiel soft-fix embalming method retains the body’s natural look and feel.

Skin and muscles remain flexible, allowing the limbs to be moved, while the body’s internal organs are clearly identifiable and respond to the surgeon’s scalpel as if alive.

Conventional methods of preservation using formaldehyde leave the body stiff and fragile, and complicate the understanding of how the body will respond to a particular surgical procedure.

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