GJLP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GJLP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spine. Coloured three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) scan of a healthy human spine, superimposed onto a torso with muscles revealed. The spine (yellow), seen from behind, is made of a column of 33 cylindrical bones called vertebrae. Between the vertebrae are flexible joints that both stabilise the spine and allow movement. Each vertebra has bony projections which provide attachment sites for the muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together. Running through the spine is the spinal cord (not seen), a bundle of nerves from the brain. Three-dimensional CT scans are made by combining multiple X-ray tissue "slices" using a computer.
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