Sunday, March 2, 2014
We've had a rough week. Last Thursday, J decided to grab the inside of a restroom door as it was being shut, breaking the tip of his finger and turning his finger nail completely black almost immediately. The doctors say it should be back to normal in the next four weeks. Though it's sad to see my child in pain, this incidence got me thinking about how much I love learning about the body and how it continues to motivate me in my current research.
The human body amazes me! And, guess what? We're still learning about us! Research is awesome.
Do you know how many bones are in our body? 206, at least for adults. Babies are born with more, but they end up getting fused/grow together as they age. One of the reasons babies have more bones is to make them more squishable to help with the birthing process.
Did you know that astronauts lose bone when they are in space? The same goes for people who are bed-ridden for lengthy amounts of time. Bone is this amazing material that responds to load/weight/forces that you apply to it. If you don't use it, you lose it! Fun studies have shown that the opposite is also true. Tennis players tend to have thicker forearm bones in their dominant arm when compared to the other arm.
More research: One of my favorite grad school classes, Orthopaedic Bioengineering, was taught by Dr. Dennis Carter. He co-authored Skeletal Function and Form: Mechanobiology of Skeletal Development, Aging, and Regeneration (affiliate link) with Dr. Gary Beaupre. Both gentlemen have spent their research careers studying the formation and redevelopment of bones and other structural materials in our bodies and have shared the information they've learned with us through this book.
Since we've been preoccupied with J's finger and getting ready for Baby Sister (who will be here in six short weeks), I thought it would be a good time to do the Magic School Bus kit on the Body and Bones, but we've already done the age appropriate experiments in some form or another. Here's a flashback to some of the fun with the human body we've had: