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Latest Vertebra Stories

2012-06-12 14:34:10

Technology licensed by BYU to Utah-based Crocker Spinal Technologies In between the vertebrae of the human spine are 23 Oreo-sized, cartilage-filled discs that hold the vertebrae together and allow for spine movement. While the discs are critical for movement, they can become the source of back pain when they degenerate or herniate — a major health problem that affects 85% of Americans and drains the U.S. economy to the tune of $100 billion every year. A new biomedical device...

Aquatic Eel Fossil Has Human-like Spine Morphology
2012-05-23 04:48:16

Surprise discovery contradicts theories about anatomy exclusive to land animals For decades, scientists believed that a spine with multiple segments was an exclusive feature of land-dwelling animals. But the discovery of the same anatomical feature in a 345-million-year-old eel suggests that this complex anatomy arose separately from — and perhaps before — the first species to walk on land. Tarrasius problematicus was an eel-like fish that lived in shallow bodies of water in...

2012-03-14 09:33:42

Discovered the molecular mechanism responsible for vertebral column degeneration Italian researchers at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome found an important molecular mechanism responsible for low back pain and other acute vertebral problems like cervical axial pain, all due to aging and degeneration of the vertebral column. The team led by Dr. Luigi Aurelio Nasto and Enrico Pola also developed an experimental drug to inhibit this degenerative mechanism, by blocking its...

Dinosaur Attracted Mates Much Like A Peacock
2011-11-07 13:46:40

A new study says that a species of dinosaur may have acted like a Las Vegas showgirl in order to attract males. Oviraptor dinosaurs had a fan of feathers similar to a flamenco dancer in Las Vegas, along with a flexible tail. The scientists said this dinosaur species may have flashed these feathers to attract attention in a way similar to the modern-day peacock. Scott Persons, a doctoral student at the University of Alberta, presented the research at the Society for Vertebrate...

2011-10-20 13:42:12

Adaptation to upright walking leaves humans susceptible, Case Western Reserve University study shows Osteoporosis is blamed for backbone fractures. The real culprit could well be our own vertebrae, which evolved to absorb the pounding of upright walking, researchers at Case Western Reserve University say. Compared to apes, humans have larger, more porous vertebrae encased in a much thinner shell of bone. The design works well until men and women age and suffer bone loss, leaving them...

2011-10-14 09:10:38

From blue whales to earthworms, a common mechanism gives shape to living beings Why don't our arms grow from the middle of our bodies? The question isn't as trivial as it appears. Vertebrae, limbs, ribs, tailbone ... in only two days, all these elements take their place in the embryo, in the right spot and with the precision of a Swiss watch. Intrigued by the extraordinary reliability of this mechanism, biologists have long wondered how it works. Now, researchers at EPFL (Ecole...

Giant Kraken Lair Found In Nevada
2011-10-10 11:17:59

Mount Holyoke College paleontologist Mark McMenamin said on Monday a dig-site at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada contains evidence of a new sea creature that preyed on 45-foot-long ichthyosaurs. McMenamin reported his findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of American in Minneapolis. He said that there is a site in Nevada that holds the remains of nine ichthyosaurs of what could be the ancient den of a giant Kraken. He said when he arrived at the state park...

2011-09-05 11:21:00

Evolution adds and subtracts, and nowhere is this math more evident than in vertebrates, which are programmed to have five digits on each limb. But many species do not. Snakes, of course, have no digits, and birds have three. Yale scientists now have a good handle on how these developmental changes are orchestrated in the embryo, but there is still one outstanding debate on birds: Which digits are they: a thumb with index and middle fingers, or the index, middle and ring fingers? In...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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