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Bone densitometry scans of the skeletons of twins

Bone densitometry scans of the skeletons of twins

P100/0053

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Credit

DR. NIGEL MORRISON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. NIGEL MORRISON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Bone density scans. Coloured bone densitometry (Lunar DPX) scans of the skeletons of a pair of identical twins, showing normal bone density. The colour-coding represents bone mineral content, increasing from blue through to white. The areas of most dense mineral content are the skull, pelvis, and long bones of the legs. This scanning technique is used to detect and assess osteo- porosis (brittle bone disease). These twins show a near identical pattern of bone mineral deposits. It has been found that a single gene controls up to 75% of the density of human bone. This genetic control of bone density is nowhere better displayed than in genetically identical twins.

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