STUDENTS have taken part in a 'post mortem examination like never before' at York St John University.

The university has hosted the city's first recreated human body dissection on VIVIT, the world's only semi-synthetic human cadaver.

During yesterday's five-hour academic experience in a sports hall, more than 100 participants were given a practical insight into human anatomy and physiology as the life size cadaver - containing the organs and gastro intestinal tract of a pig, not a human being - was dissected.

The event was aimed particularly at students on courses such as biomedical science, biology, human biology, pharmacology, forensics, sports science, nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and nutrition.

"This is a live body dissection like never before," said a spokesman. "It offers an in-depth educational experience that would be beneficial to those looking to study bioscience, forensic science, medicine, or criminology.

"The participants take on the role of criminal pathologists, our team of anatomists and clinical staff go through the systems of the body and the medical and the physical make up of the organ systems from head to abdomen in detail with each section involving actual organ dissection as they work towards finding a cause of death.

"The current VIVIT begins with a pathology scenario that pertains to the information given throughout the workshop.

"Students in groups have opportunity to handle and study the brain, the organs within the thoracic block and a hands on look at an intact gastro intestinal tract."

Students wanting to handle specimens and conduct dissections had to wear special nitrile medical examination gloves, hats, masks and overall aprons to prevent the spread of biological contaminants.

Amongst those taking part were Zoe Gordon-Oxford, from York, who is studying mental health nursing at Nottingham University and Claire Hope, studying adult nursing at Nottingham, who said they found the event a very helpful way of learning about human anatomy.