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Concept: Bone products


Modern humans replaced Neandertals ∼40,000 y ago. Close to the time of replacement, Neandertals show behaviors similar to those of the modern humans arriving into Europe, including the use of specialized bone tools, body ornaments, and small blades. It is highly debated whether these modern behaviors developed before or as a result of contact with modern humans. Here we report the identification of a type of specialized bone tool, lissoir, previously only associated with modern humans. The microwear preserved on one of these lissoir is consistent with the use of lissoir in modern times to obtain supple, lustrous, and more impermeable hides. These tools are from a Neandertal context proceeding the replacement period and are the oldest specialized bone tools in Europe. As such, they are either a demonstration of independent invention by Neandertals or an indication that modern humans started influencing European Neandertals much earlier than previously believed. Because these finds clearly predate the oldest known age for the use of similar objects in Europe by anatomically modern humans, they could also be evidence for cultural diffusion from Neandertals to modern humans.

Concepts: Bone, Human, Chimpanzee, Neanderthal, Human evolution, Humans, Bone products, Bone tool


Deformations of vertebrae and sudden fractures of long bones caused by essentially normal loading are a characteristic problem in osteoporosis. If the loading is normal, then the explanation for and prediction of unexpected bone failure lies in understanding the mechanical properties of the whole bone-which come from its internal and external geometry, the mechanical properties of the hard tissue, and from how well the tissue repairs damage. Modern QCT and MRI imaging systems can measure the geometry of the mineralized tissue quite well in vivo-leaving the mechanical properties of the hard tissue and the ability of bone to repair damage as important unknown factors in predicting fractures. This review explains which material properties must be measured to understand why some bones fail unexpectedly despite our current ability to determine bone geometry and bone mineral content in vivo. Examples of how to measure the important mechanical properties are presented along with some analysis of potential drawbacks of each method. Particular attention is given to methods useful to characterize the loss of bone toughness caused by mechanical fatigue, drug side effects, and damage to the bone matrix.

Concepts: Scientific method, Bone, Understanding, Skeletal system, Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, Materials science, Explanation, Bone products


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of high dietary calcium (Ca) level on growth performance, Ca and phosphorus (P) metabolism, and nutrient utilization in ducklings subjected to normal and low P levels in diets. A completely randomized design was used with a factorial arrangement of 2 total dietary P levels [normal-P (0.60%) and low-P (0.45%) groups] × 4 dietary Ca levels [low-Ca (0.55%), normal-Ca (0.75%), medium-Ca (0.95%) and high-Ca (1.15%) groups)]. Compared to normal-P group, low-P group had lower (P < 0.05) final body weight (BW), average daily gain (ADG), and average daily feed intake (ADFI) and reduced (P < 0.05) serum Ca and P levels, bone Ca, P, and ash content, and bone mineral density in ducklings during the starter period. Under the low-P group, birds from high-Ca group had lower (P < 0.05) final BW, ADG, ADFI, bone ash content, bone mineral density, and the utilization of energy, Ca, and P than those from low-Ca, normal-Ca, and medium-Ca groups. Our results indicate that high-Ca diet induced greater growth suppression and bone mineralization loss in ducklings fed a low-P diet. The aggravated negative effect of high dietary Ca level with a low P level might be related to the elevated serum alkaline phosphatase activity and the reduced utilization of energy, Ca, and P.

Concepts: Bone, Nutrition, Water, Alkaline phosphatase, Calcium, Dietary mineral, Mineral, Bone products


Tooth movement out of anatomic limitations was assisted by augmented corticotomy using deproteinized bovine bone mineral.

Concepts: Apatite, Organ, Orthopedic surgery, Anatomy, Piezoelectricity, Bone products, Hips Don't Lie


The effect of a supernumerary X chromosome on bones has not been reported and this study evaluated bone mineral status and metabolism in non-mosaic triple X syndrome.

Concepts: Bone, Chromosome, Cross-sectional study, Y chromosome, X chromosome, Piezoelectricity, Bone products, Triple X syndrome


Establishing the mineral content distribution in highly mineralized tissues, such as bones and teeth, is fundamental in understanding a variety of structural questions ranging from studies of the mechanical properties to improved pathological investigations. However, non-destructive, volumetric and quantitative density measurements of mineralized samples, some of which may extend several mm in size, remain challenging. Here, we demonstrate the potential of grating-based x-ray phase tomography to gain insight into the three-dimensional mass density distribution of tooth tissues in a non-destructive way and with a sensitivity of 85 mg/cm3. Density gradients of 13 - 19% over 1 - 2 mm within typical samples are detected, and local variations in density of 0.4 g/cm3 on a length scale of 0.1 mm are revealed. This method proves to be an excellent quantitative tool for investigations of subtle differences in mineral content of mineralized tissues that can change following treatment or during ageing and healing.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Density, Volume, Water, Measurement, Lead, Kilogram, Bone products


To evaluate bone mineral status and metabolism in a cohort of patients with Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS).

Concepts: Apatite, Syndromes, Piezoelectricity, Bone products


Mineralized tissues accumulate elements that play crucial roles in animal health. Although elemental content of bone, blood and teeth of human and some animal species have been characterized, data for many others are lacking, as well as species comparisons. Here we describe the distribution of elements in horn (Bovidae), antler (Cervidae), teeth and bone (humerus) across a number of species determined by handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to better understand differences and potential biological relevance. A difference in elemental profiles between horns and antlers was observed, possibly due to the outer layer of horns being comprised of keratin, whereas antlers are true bone. Species differences in tissue elemental content may be intrinsic, but also related to feeding habits that contribute to mineral accumulation, particularly for toxic heavy metals. One significant finding was a higher level of iron (Fe) in the humerus bone of elephants compared to other species. This may be an adaptation of the hematopoietic system by distributing Fe throughout the bone rather than the marrow, as elephant humerus lacks a marrow cavity. We also conducted discriminant analysis and found XRF was capable of distinguishing samples from different species, with humerus bone being the best source for species discrimination. For example, we found a 79.2% correct prediction and success rate of 80% for classification between human and non-human humerus bone. These findings show that handheld XRF can serve as an effective tool for the biological study of elemental composition in mineralized tissue samples and may have a forensic application.

Concepts: X-ray fluorescence, Human, Species, Deer, Mammal, Elk, Charles Darwin, Bone products


Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) has been reported to contribute to bone regeneration; however, little is known about details with deproteinized bovine bone mineral (DBBM). This study aims to evaluate additional effects of PRF on bone regeneration in sinus augmentation with DBBM.

Concepts: Apatite, Learning, Piezoelectricity, Bone products


Improved bone development and mineralization in broilers have been attributed to the use of 25-hydroxylcholecalceiferol [25(OH)D3] as a dietary supplement. In this study, effects of the in ovo injection of 25(OH)D3 delivered in commercial diluent on 18 d of incubation (doi) on subsequent bone development and mineralization in male and female Ross × Ross 708 broilers were investigated. The variables investigated included bone mineral density and breaking strength, bone ash concentration, and calcium and phosphorus bone ash concentrations. In a single-stage incubator, with 6 treatments on each of the 10 tray levels, a total of 2,400 experimental broiler hatching eggs were evenly and randomly set. Eggs were treatment-injected and transferred to corresponding hatching baskets on 18 doi. Experimental treatment groups were those that received 0.2, 0.6, 1.8, or 5.4 µg of 25(OH)D3 that were delivered in 100 µL of commercial diluent. Noninjected and diluent-injected controls were also included. On 21 doi, chicks were pulled and placed in corresponding floor pens, and on each of d 0, 14, and 28 posthatch (poh), 2 birds of each sex from each pen were randomly selected for necropsy and extraction of both of their tibia bones. Bones from the right leg were subjected to mineral density analysis and those from the left leg were used to determine breaking strength and residual bone ash concentration. Furthermore, ash calcium and phosphorus concentrations on d 14 and 28 poh were determined. There was a treatment × sex × age interaction for bone breaking strength. Bone breaking strength in male birds on d 28 poh was higher in the 0.20, 0.60, and 1.80 µg of 25(OH)D3-injected treatment groups than in the diluent-injected control group. In conclusion, although the in ovo injection of 25(OH)D3 had no positive effect on the bone development of Ross × Ross 708 broilers through d 28 poh compared with noninjected controls, it may provide a benefit to those subjected to an injection of commercial vaccine diluent.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone, Vitamin D, Dietary supplement, Dietary mineral, Sex, Tensile strength, Bone products