Jan 18, 2019 | Updated: 03:16 PM EST

Wolverine For Real: Calcium Is Not The Only Thing Essential For Strong Bones, You Need Metal Too

Mar 29, 2017 02:32 AM EDT


A recent study has made it possible to understand the mechanism behind the growth of bones in human body. It has also indicated towards the facts that just like the "adamantium" bones of fictional superhero Wolverine from "X-Men", human bones also carry traces of various metals, which plays a pivotal role in their growth and development.

According to Phys.org, the researchers examined the bones of rodents to find out how bones grow in the body of a mammal. They claim that the trace metals that are found in human bones are mainly copper, calcium, zinc, and strontium. The process that is responsible for the growth of a number of bones in a human body is known as "endochondral ossification", involving a number of growth activities, says the study.

Going by the research, the activities taking place during bone growth can be divided into three categories, cartilage, replacement and mineralised or "ossified" bone. Scientists opine that though only a three-step process, this bone growth activity is a very complex one, involving a number of proteins and growth hormones. This activity also gets support from a number of metals found in the periodic table.

Reportedly, this is the first time that the trace metals have been imaged by the help of intensely bright x-rays generated from a diamond. The trace metals were found during the process in the tiny bones of the mouse's limb. The metals are focussed on more than the body proteins due to their preservation capabilities, which helps the scientists to read even the ancient biological processes responsible for bone growth.

According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, the analysis of the bone elements can lead the researchers to understand the processes involved in the biochemical stages of "ossification". The eventual quantification of the trace elements confirms their presence in the mammal body. Researchers say that these studies are useful to be applied not only in the medical field but also to understand the growth of bones in through time.

Researchers say that these study results can also be used in chemistry and material science. Processes like internal ossification and cartilage formation can also be understood from this study of rodent bones.

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