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Your Bones in Space Osteoporosis a condition characterized by an absolute decrease in the amount of bone present to a level below which it is capable of maintaining the structural integrity of the skeleton To state the obvious Human beings have evolved under Earths gravity 1G Our musculoskeleton system have developed to help us navigate in this gravitational field endowed with ability to adapt as needed under various stress strains and available energy requirement The system consists of Bone a highly specialized and dynamic supporting tissue which provides the vertebrates its rigid infrastructure It consists of specialized connective tissue cells called osteocytes and a matrix consisting of organic fibers held together by an organic cement which gives bone its tenacity elasticity and its resilience It also has an inorganic component located in the cement between the fibers consisting of calcium phosphate 85 Calcium carbonate 10 others 5 which give it the hardness and rigidity Other than providing the rigid infrastructure it protects vital organs like the brain serves as a complex lever system acts as a storage area for calcium which is vital for human metabolism houses the bone marrow within its mid cavity and to top it all it is capable of changing its architecture and mass in response to outside and inner stress It is this dynamic remodeling of bone which is of primary interest in microgravity To feel the impact of this dynamicity it should be noted that a bone remodeling unit a coupled phenomena of bone reabsorption and bone formation is initiated and another finished about every ten seconds in a healthy adult This dynamic system responds to mechanical stress or lack of it by increasing the bone massdensity or decreasing it as per the demand on the system -eg a person dealing with increased mechanical stress will respond with increased mass density of the bone and a person who leads a sedentary life will have decreased massdensity
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