Bones: The Elixir of Life

Essay by cyberbashUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, July 2007

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At a glance the skeletal system can seem misleadingly simple but in essence forms a complex component of many of the bodies systems; its functionality being integral to optimal body performance. Thus, the mental and physical state of a person, being determined by the systems making up the organism is also determined by the functionality of bones. I define a person as being constituted of an interdependent physical and mental state; hence bones influence a person's identity. It is worthwhile noting, however, that the skeletal system of an organism is not restricted to playing a role in the organism from which it is derived - components of it can also utilised in another organism. This can serve as a solution to the problem that the functionality and synthesis of the skeletal system can be affected by a number of internal and external factors such as genetic mutations and radiation. Due to the interdependent nature of the body, small changes in the composition of bone have the potential to handicap the affected individual.

Therefore, bones and its components can be a vital part of multiple organisms, but any adverse influences can result in a dysfunctional skeletal system and handicap the organism.

When examined in detail, it can be seen that multiple types of tissue form bone1; for reasons of brevity only bone marrow will be discussed. Bone marrow can be found in two varieties - red and yellow, each having different functions. The red bone marrow is associated with hemopoiesis and the production of thrombocytes and leukocytes, all of which are formed from hematopoietic stem cells2. Erythrocytes are highly specialised for their function of transporting oxygen due to the absence of a nucleus and their oval conformation3,4. The production of specialised erythrocytes has countless effects on the bodies systems; in general...