Coloured 3-D CT scan of lower spine

Coloured 3-D CT scan of lower spine

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Credit: GJLP/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lower spine. Coloured three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) scan of the side of the lower spine. The spine is made of a column of 33 cylindrical bones called vertebrae, of which the lower vertebrae (lumbar) are seen here. Between the vertebrae are flexible joints (blue/green) that both stabilise the spine and allow movement. The bony projections on the right side of each vertebra provide attachment sites for the muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together. The pelvis is at centre bottom. The vertebrae enclose the spinal cord (not seen), a nerve bundle running down from the brain. 3-D CT scans are made by combining multiple X-ray tissue "slices".

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Keywords: 3-d, anatomy, bone, bones, ct scan, human body, lumbar, lumbar spine, lumbar vertebra, normal, pelvis, skeleton, spine, vertebra, vertebral column

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