Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2015

Zygote Body

Control, create, and explore stunning 3-D human body visuals

Subjects & skills
  • Science

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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5 images

Pros: Users create and save their own annotated images of the human body.

Cons: Community sharing capabilities and other features from comparable tools are lacking.

Bottom Line: A great way for students to test themselves as they manipulate 3-D images of the human body.

Zygote Body is best used for individual student practice. Teachers can support their students by printing out the description of tools and instructions in advance. Zygote Body is pretty intuitive, but not all students will be able to figure out how to use it without direct guidance. There is a pop-up window that describes all the tools, but it covers the screen when it's up. It's easier for students to have the list in their hands while they try to figure things out.

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Zygote Body is an interactive 3-D human anatomy tool. You may recognize it as the Google Body Browser that was originally part of Google Labs. Users can intuitively rotate, resize, and annotate parts of the human body. More detailed views are available for the heart, skull, and ear. An Opacity Slider allows students to remove layers and focus on specific portions of an organ.

While Zygote Body Lite is free, the Premium version costs $4 a month. With the Premium option, users can save a particular view that they have set up with pins and annotations. Additional premium tools include quizzes and a slicer that allows users to cut organ images in three-dimensional planes.

Zygote Body provides a powerful opportunity for users to create their own images with labels and notes. Students can also make use of the Zygote scenes that are pre-set with annotated landmarks. By clicking on and off body parts, students can learn about the names and also read Wikipedia descriptions of their functions. The best part about the premium subscription is the quiz tool that lets kids test themselves in a visual way and definitely beats out flashcards. Kids will find the Explode tool both funny and useful since it allows them to break apart the body. As they bring the parts back together, they can also see the interconnection and interdependence of the body systems.

At first glance, Zygote Body appears very similar to other standout tools that teach kids about anatomy, like BioDigital Human. However, Zygote Body's best features are available only in the paid version, while other comparable apps offer the same features for free. This app also lacks that tool's community component that allows educators to create their own quizzes and share them with their students in other apps. Overall, this is a good tool, but check out other anatomy apps to make sure you find the tool that fits your classroom best.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Users will feel empowered as they create their own scenes of the body, and the app offers the fun of dissection without the cost or mess of a cadaver.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Zygote Body capitalizes on powerful visual images and great interactive features to help students learn the names and functions of body parts. As it's mainly aimed at an older audience, it's probably best used as a reference tool.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

YouTube videos provide helpful how-to tutorials, and immediate feedback from quizzes (available in the paid version) helps kids gauge their performance. Teachers will need to track student progress on their own.

Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
David L. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, United States
Great Way to Explore the Human Body, But Mostly Content Based
I love that this product gives kids complete control over their exploration of the human body and the body systems. Students can take apart and reform a digital version of a human body piece by piece which allows real authentic learning. The reason I did not rate this higher is that there is no place for a student to create content or for a teacher to embed assessments. There has to be a companion piece from the teacher with this in order for it to be effective.
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