The Pillars of Life
Do our 206 bones communicate with one another? Can our way of living be deduced from our skeleton? And can we become unbreakable? Insights into the mysterious universe in our body…
Could humans become unbreakable?
The cross section shown below of the femur, the large bone of the thigh, reveals highly complex construction. Its ball-shaped end sits in the socket of the hip joint, which enables our legs to move. Inside, an extremely fine network of bone fibers makes bones very resistant to breakage and also saves a lot of weight. Although the network is solidly constructed, it is constantly being rebuilt by the bone cells. This is why bones can adjust to bearing an exceptional burden— as occurs when we start playing a new sport. The network is typified by a certain structure (circled in red) that allows pressure waves to be conducted through the bones. In the center of our bones the network is less pronounced. This channel is filled with red bone marrow— a factory for the red and white blood cells. Scientists have recently discovered that bone tissue produces hormones: Bones release osteocalcin into the body, which influences glucose metabolism. Mice with an osteocalcin deficiency are obese and prone to diabetes.