the osteoblasts

Osteogenic sarcoma of the third metacarpal displaying blastic features.

Osteogenic sarcoma is a bone cancer that primarily affects osteoblasts and occurs most often in teenagers during their growth spurt; the most common sites are the metaphyses of the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), and arm bone (humerus). Metastases occur most often in lungs; treatment consists of multidrug chemotherapy and removal of the malignant growth, or amputation of limbs.

lunarfantom replied to your post: Hey. When I was a kid I used to love writing (and…

I mean, if the skull needs to grow it could work, skeletons are in a constant state of growth and destruction via osteoblasts and osteoclasts. If the blast level rose in just that area and the bone became thicker you could get a thicker skull. Depending on where or how this happens you could wind up with a misshapen skull, unless skull bones are different somehow?

That would would if (big if) you have enough fine control over it to make the osteoblasts not put new bone on the inside of the skull, in which case your brain would get into the way very very quickly, with debilitating or lethal results, depending on how runaway an effect we’re talking.

I was thinking of changing the skull shape not by just layering bone on in various places but by actually changing the form while maintaining the thickness of the bone, since well, brains need space. 

Osteoblast or bone-forming cell, growing on a new type of bone scaffold being developed to repair damaged bones. The scaffold is made of calcium oxide and silicon dioxide with added strontium and zinc to help the bone cells to grow better. Visualized using scanning electron microscopy by Dr Guocheng Wang and Dr Zufu Lu, University of Sydney.

World’s first pelvis transplant carried out in Italy.

The Centre for Orthopaedic Trauma (CTO) in Turin, Italy, has performed the world’s first pelvis transplant, an operation that saved the life of an 18-year-old suffering from osteosarcoma. The condition was considered inoperable and the boy responded quite well to 16 cycles of chemotherapy, but the doctors didn’t stop at the traditional treatment, racking their brains to find a definitive solution.

Osteosarcoma is a cancerous tumor in a bone. Specifically, it is an aggressive malignant neoplasm that arises from primitive transformed cells of mesenchymal origin (and thus a sarcoma) and that exhibits osteoblastic differentiation and produces malignantosteoid. Osteosarcoma is the most common histological form of primary bone cancer and it is most prevalent in children and young adults. It tend to occur at the sites of bone growth, presumably because proliferation makes osteoblastic cells in this region prone to acquire mutations that could lead to transformation of cells (RB gene and p53 gene are commonly involved).

In an 11.5-hour operation, surgeons removed half the patient’s pelvis along with part of his hip affected by the cancer, replacing them with a prosthetic made in the United States from titanium covered in tantalum, a non-corrosive metal mainly used in electronics components.

The operation had “an excellent outcome” and the patient is now undergoing intensive therapy to help him adapt to his new pelvis, the hospital said in a statement.

(Picture by Alexey Kashpersky).

Lack of estrogen causes a decrease in osteoprotegerin.

Osteoprotegerin (OPG), also known as osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor (OCIF), is a cytokine and a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily.

Osteoprotegerin inhibits the differentiation of macrophages into osteoclasts and also regulates the resorption of osteoclasts.
Mnemonic: Osteoprotegerin protects bone (By preventing macrophage differentiation into osteoclasts.)

Osteoprotegerin, a RANK homolog, works by binding to the RANK-ligand on Osteoblast/Stromal cells, thus blocking the RANK-RANK lingand interaction between Osteoblast/Stromal cells and Osteoclast precursors. This has the effect of inhibiting the differentiation of the Osteoclast Precursor into a mature Osteoclast.
Mnemonic: Osteoprotegerin ranks high in protecting bones.

So, estrogen kinda inhibits the osteoclasts which causes osteoporosis is the moral of the story?


Extra: Recombinant human osteoprotegerin specifically acts on bone, increasing bone mineral density and bone volume. Osteoprotegerin has been used experimentally to decrease bone resorption in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis and in patients with lytic bone metastases.

That’s all!


Let Me Tell You Something About You That's Amazing

You’re really impressive. Seriously, you are. 

You are among the most amazing, impossible, absurd and beautiful and horrifying things. You’re a terror and a wonder. How. How even. 

The way you can adapt and compensate for stuff is just, like. Wow.

Neuroplasticity is so cool I am almost offended by it. Your brain structure is alway shifting and changing – physically. And sometimes your brain gets to use that to help you recover from some serious damage, too. The most memorable and dramatic case is probably Phineas Gage, who had an honest-to-god iron rod shoved in a penetrating head injury through his head and out the other side. It nearly obliterated his left frontal lobe. Obviously that wasn’t without problems – but he went on to live without assistance and drive a stagecoach for a living. I shit you not.

Your skin is completely amazing. It’s just there, doing so much stuff. It’s helping protect you, it’s regulating your temperature, it’s making sure you don’t lose fluids and nutrients to random atmospheric stuff. The outside-most parts of your skin are even doing most of their own breathing. They’re using external oxygen. How cool is that? How awesome is your skin?  

We are absurdly efficient, too. Are you fat? Cool. Me too! You’re cool. You’re so cool. You can store energy like nobody’s business, and there’s a good chance that genetics have predisposed you to do that in some way – why? Because otherwise your ancestors would have gone really hungry. I don’t care how fuel efficient your bloody Prius is, it’s nowhere near as cool as being able to change your metabolic rate and hormone production to take advantage of what nutrients are available to you. 

And your bones. Your bones actually get thicker where they receive the maximum amount of stress? That’s like, your goddamn skeleton casually reinforcing itself due to use. It’s awesome. It’s because, to regulate a bunch of stuff and heal minor damage, your bones undergo remodelling - they replace themselves, basically, in a cool ongoing process where they’re just, like, always doing their thing. Also, the bone-making cells are called osteoblasts, which sounds like a party I’m not cool enough to be invited to. But your bones are. 

Your other organs are also completely incredible, Christ. You can survive without half your kidneys. Literally one half of them. Unless you’re one of those people who was born with supernumerary kidneys, in which case I don’t even know, probably more than half. A bunch of people are born with extra kidneys, and most of them don’t even know until they have to get some kind of scan done and then their health professional is just like: “Oh yeah, surprise! You have a spare kidney. It’s a weird partial kidney, but it works.” Seriously? Seriously

 And your liver actually regenerates to the point where we can cut out part of your liver, put it in somebody else, and let it grow back so you both get functional livers.

Seriously. Consider how goddamn amazing you are. You’ve got to be paying attention here, seriously, think about this for me: your liver can be cut into chunks, then one part of it gets put in somebody else, and then both of you have livers. You both regenerate the liver. Two livers for the price of one.

I shit you not, guys. 2013 was the first live donation to a complete stranger in the UK. This is a thing that your body is actually capable of. Um? Um? Are you fucking kidding me?

You are so damn amazing. How do you even exist? What are you even doing? What the hell? How did something like you get to be made from stardust and coincidence? 

Anyway, I just wanted to let your organs and bones know: You guys are lookin’ great today. Keep it up. ::thumbsup::

What’s On Board the Next SpaceX Cargo Launch?

Cargo and supplies are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on Monday, July 18 at 12:45 a.m. EDT. The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will liftoff from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Among the arriving cargo is the first of two international docking adapters, which will allow commercial spacecraft to dock to the station when transporting astronauts in the near future as part of our Commercial Crew Program.

This metallic ring, big enough for astronauts and cargo to fit through represents the first on-orbit element built to the docking measurements that are standardized for all the spacecraft builders across the world.

Its first users are expected to be the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, which are both now in development.

What About the Science?!

Experiments launching to the station range from research into the effects of microgravity on the human body, to regulating temperature on spacecraft. Take a look at a few:

A Space-based DNA Sequencer

DNA testing aboard the space station typically requires collecting samples and sending them back to Earth to be analyzed. Our Biomolecule Sequencer Investigation will test a new device that will allow DNA sequencing in space for the first time! The samples in this first test will be DNA from a virus, a bacteria and a mouse.

How big is it? Picture your smartphone…then cut it in half. This miniature device has the potential to identify microbes, diagnose diseases and evaluate crew member health, and even help detect DNA-based life elsewhere in the solar system.


OsteoOmics is an experiment that will investigate the molecular mechanisms that dictate bone loss in microgravity. It does this by examining osteoblasts, which form bone; and osteoclasts, which dissolves bone. New ground-based studies are using magnetic levitation equipment to simulate gravity-related changes. This experiment hopes to validate whether this method accurately simulates the free-fall conditions of microgravity.

Results from this study could lead to better preventative care or therapeutic treatments for people suffering bone loss, both on Earth and in space!

Heart Cells Experiment

The goals of the Effects of Microgravity on Stem Cell-Derived Heart Cells (Heart Cells) investigation include increasing the understanding of the effects of microgravity on heart function, the improvement of heart disease modeling capabilities and the development of appropriate methods for cell therapy for people with heart disease on Earth.

Phase Change Material Heat Exchanger (PCM HX)

The goal of the Phase Change Material Heat Exchanger (PCM HX) project is to regulate internal spacecraft temperatures. Inside this device, we’re testing the freezing and thawing of material in an attempt to regulate temperature on a spacecraft. This phase-changing material (PCM) can be melted and solidified at certain high heat temperatures to store and release large amounts of energy.

Watch Launch!

Live coverage of the SpaceX launch will be available starting at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 17 via NASA Television

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Chalk the episode’s success up to the way Deschanel has subtly changed Temperance over the years. It was easy to accept that the formerly emotion-challenged scientist would find the right words to calm an irrational Booth — all the while not giving an inch in her stance that he was acting like a crazy person — because Deschanel tempered Brennan’s frustration and fright with care. The mix of emotions was something the Brennan of earlier seasons would not touched; in Deschanel’s hands now, it seemed as natural to Temperance as cataloging bones or dressing down interns.

Later, as Brennan gave a poignant eulogy for Sweets, Deschanel’s voice broke while pointing out how the psychologist had affected all of his friends’ lives. Her ability to convey Brennan’s grief, love and hope — all at once — was a lovely piece of acting years in the making. Deschanel knows Brennan right down to her osteoblasts, and it shows. (x)

anonymous asked:

Curious if you had any ideas on lycanthropes or other "quick changers." To change quickly it would require some corner cutting, no? Perhaps bone breaking? Or somewhat of a liquifying like in insect metamorphosis? Would love any thoughts on the matter :)

Ooh, transformation is a lot of fun to theorise about! I haven’t given as much thought towards lycanthropes and similar creatures just yet, but I did come up with a system for metamorphosis for Doppelgangers / general Shape Shifters for a personal project (Infernal Opera) that based itself on organisms being able to reassign the specialisation of individual or clusters of cells to accomplish a particular task (such as building a new limb), or to revert the specialisation of those cells to a basal state to achieve a form of liquefaction. The speed that a Doppelganger can change its shape is proportionate to its size - relying on how quickly the chemical signal to “shift” reaches its destination in the body to perform any changes. The larger the creature, the greater the time needed. A colossal Shape Shifter will require a few seconds to execute / accommodate a shift of any size in proportion to its body. In a smaller Shape Shifter the change would almost seem instantaneous. In the context of this project, Doppelgangers / Shape Shifters are basic single- and multi-celled organisms charading as (visually) higher-developed organisms that can survive in pieces down to the cellular level.

Anyways, for creatures like lycanthropes (in general, I’m spit-balling on the spot here) the process would be much more complicated, since you’re working with (going off of movie-type metamorphing that keeps physical form overall) a shift that alters bone shape, size, and by extension muscle and tendon size, origin, and insertion. The alteration of bone can be explained through ossification / osteogenesis, permitting bone growth, and apoptosis, which is the destruction of bone. A change in collagen (whether encouraging a deficiency or chemical defect) could account for the elasticity in the skin / muscle / bone required to undergo such a change without liquefaction. I couldn’t even begin to theorise how the shifts in muscle and tendon origin and insertion would work in relation to the bone, but overall it could be agreed that the execution of something like this, especially so quickly (under a minute, like Hollywood envisions it) would require a whole lot of expendable energy, and probably result in huge physiological and psychological problems for the creature itself. If, say, a werewolf shifted and didn’t have the full stores of energy required for a shift, would they be stuck in mid morph? Or, would other parts of the body be cannibalised for nutrients and energy, such as a muscles or other tissues, leading to frailty and muscle / skin reduction? Further still, with such a rapid change, there would be considerable risk of error, I would imagine! What about an error in osteoblast organisation, leading to bones warping out of place, or growing in the wrong direction? What about joints or bones failing completely due to collagen defects and deficiencies resulting from an incomplete shift or too many shifts or a chemical misfire? Bones shifting further than the skin can accommodate due to a lack of available collagen? What about the shifting of internal organs to also accommodate the new body shape? The reorganisation of viscera would be incredibly painful, and the margin for error would be probably be even more terrifying - like the heart being unable to handle the strain, or even growing - perhaps too quickly for the rest of the body - leading to more potential complications. I would imagine that a werewolf would be a pretty sickly-looking creature because of all this (the mental imagery I’m getting just from writing this is awesome, more things to add to the “to draw” list) and could very well play into the trope that as a “wolf” a werewolf has no intelligence beyond basic instinct. With the body and brain under so much strain for such a fast and probably error-ridden physiological change, the mind probably wouldn’t have the ability to process much beyond the basics and the pursual of “food”.

I’m not even sure I managed to answer your question properly, Anon, haha - but this was fun to put together! I will definitely need to think about this more. The list of “awful things that could happen” is enormous, just how I like it.