Our bones grow from points called growth plates, which are located on each end of bones, just below our joints. Specialised cells produce cartilage on one side of the growth plate that becomes calcified and pushes the end of the bone upwards. Our bones also have superstructures – ridges, elevations and projections, located at specific places along the bone, which allow tendons and ligaments to attach. But little is known about how a bone’s growth is regulated during development. Pictured are colour-coded statistical maps used to mathematically analyse slices of femurs [thigh bones]. Regions of the bone core that change very little are shown in red; regions that aren’t highly preserved are shown in blue. Bones were seen to grow to maintain isometry – the growth at each end of the bone is unique, specific and balanced, allowing the superstructures to uphold their approximate position.
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BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.