The only bone in the human body not connected to another is the hyoid, a V-shaped bone located at the base of the tongue.
Bones are made up of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and other minerals, as well as the protein collagen. Bones function as the skeleton of the human body, allow body parts to move and protect organs from impact damage. They also produce red and white blood cells.
Joints are the place where two bones meet or connect. Ligaments are short bands of tough fibrous connective tissue that function to connect one bone to another, forming the joint. Tendons are made of elastic tissue and also play a key role in the functioning of joints. They connect muscle to bone. A coating of another fibrous tissue called cartilage covers the bone surface and keeps the bones from rubbing directly against each other.
Some joints move and some don't. Joints in the skull don't move. Synovial joints are movable joints.
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They make up most of the joints in the body and are located mostly in the limbs, where mobility is critical. In cases of severe blood loss, the body can convert yellow marrow back to red marrow in order to increase blood cell production. The normal bone marrow architecture can be displaced by malignancies or infections such as tuberculosis, leading to a decrease in the production of blood cells and blood platelets. In addition, cancers of the hematologic progenitor cells in the bone marrow can arise; these are the leukemias.
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Bone marrow is the tissue comprising the center of large bones. It is the place where new blood cells are produced. There are two types of bone marrow: red marrow also known as myeloid tissue and yellow marrow.
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The color of yellow marrow is due to the much higher number of fat cells. Both types of bone marrow contain numerous blood vessels and capillaries. At birth, all bone marrow is red. We seem to need high impacts hitting the floor from a jump, or striking a tennis ball to produce big enough muscle and impact forces to make our bones change.
As a result, not all exercise appears to be beneficial for bone. Swimmers and cyclists may have healthy hearts, lungs and muscles but their bones are not much different from people who do not exercise.
Near the joints, bones get bigger and more dense, whereas bone shafts tend to get bigger and thicker with little change in bone density. Bones also change in shape.
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The shin bone shaft starts as a circular tube, but gets wider from front to back as we grow and start to move until it forms a tear-drop shape. But if we start to load our bones less, they waste away and these effects are no less dramatic.
This shaping of bones by forces appears to occur throughout life. Once we reach our final height, bone appears less able to increase its width, particularly near the joints. While some of the benefits gradually disappear once you stop exercising, exercised bones remain wider even several decades after exercise stops. This suggests that exercise in childhood may give us bigger, stronger bones for life.
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