INNERSPACE IMAGING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY INNERSPACE IMAGING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Backbone. Coloured magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a healthy human backbone (spine) seen from the side. The front of the spine is at right. The spine is a flexible column of 33 bones, the vertebrae (red/brown blocks), separated by intervertebral discs (pale brown) made of cartilage. It extends from the base of the skull to the bottom of the back, and supports the head and trunk as well as enclosing and protecting the spinal cord. MRI scans are produced using a pulse of radio waves and a powerful magnet.
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