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Scientists Turn Wood Into Bone

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the better-golems-on-the-way dept.

Medicine 118

Bob the Super Hamster writes "The BBC is reporting that scientists in Italy have developed a method to convert rattan wood into a bone-like substance. The bone replacement is currently being tested in sheep, where, when inserted into the area of a fracture, it joins with the existing bone and eventually fuses. Unlike other bone replacements, this one actually has load-bearing ability and also naturally fuses with the existing bone. Additionally, since it is porous like real bone, nerves and blood vessels can pass through it."

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Italy in science (0, Offtopic)

PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30700896)

Everyone always thinks Italy is just about Pizza. While in fact I did grow up in Naples, and my father and his cousin owned a pizza place next to each other, that is not the case.

Tenderly close your eyes and hear a story about my friend who used to work on this project..

There was a good time. It was the beginning of the year 2004. It was a big day. World of Warcraft was going public on this very day. I told my mother to leave us alone in our basement for the night. We had walked to the local pizza joint to get ourselves lots of pizzas. I ordered a Hawaiian style pan-pizza with ham, pineapples, shrimps and salami. In a barbeque sauce. And with coca-cola and mountain dew. Everything was ready. We were ready to enter the world of WoW.

As we dipped our fingers in mayonnaise and grabbed our first slices of the delicious pizza and watched the timer slowly, but painfully run out, we knew we were the best friends. 3.. 2.. 1.. It was time to login. I made a human mage. He made an undead warrior. Stupid decisions - we would be enemies. But we continued playing, and leveled our first dings.

After both eating 4 pizzas and a huge amount of sugar flavoured drinks, we were going mad. It was time to see each others and settle all of our real life battles in the game. We met in wetlands. We would fight to death. The loser would be the everlasting loser. It was a time to win or die!

But as my friend was running towards wetlands, he got hungry. He ran out miserably looking for more delicious pizza. Now I heard about this story and saw his name there, and I'm surprised. I should probably get off his mom's basement now and go home.

Re:Italy in science (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701000)

Dude, Get a holodl

Yeah but (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30700924)

Now you gotta watch for termites

Morning wood = boner ? Nothing new here ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701384)

Morning wood = boner ? I claim prior art !

Ninja pirates. (5, Funny)

Xoltri (1052470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30700982)

Now we will have pirates with non obvious wooden legs. I will call them Ninja Pirates. I wonder how this will affect global warming.

Re:Ninja pirates. (1)

d34dluk3 (1659991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701004)

Now we will have pirates with non obvious wooden legs. I will call them Ninja Pirates.

I'm worried that the universe will explode when the first such abomination is created.

Re:Ninja pirates. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701126)

yup agreed this will affect global warming....

http://topentertainmentblog.com/

Re:Ninja pirates or rattan sword sheep (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701394)

Now we will have pirates with non obvious wooden legs. I will call them Ninja Pirates. I wonder how this will affect global warming.

This will help global warming.

Because the pirates will be able to carry around sheep limbs and use them instead of swords, resulting in fewer rest stops between pirating for mutton breaks.

However, it will result in a lot more three-legged sheep due to pirate depredations.

Re:Ninja pirates. (1)

cntThnkofAname (1572875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702356)

the only thing they could do make an opposing force, is to find a way to let nerves and blood cells pass through a porous metal... we'll call it adamantium. And we can then infuse and re build limbs out of this nearly indestructible metal... The only enemy of these sure humans: Airports.

Re:Ninja pirates. (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703352)

"Security Man, my old nemesis, we meet again!."

Re:Ninja pirates. (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702400)

No effect on global warming if you send them up the cloud.

Dupezilla strike again. (5, Informative)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30700996)

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (2, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701230)

Some stories kick so much ass that I don't mind reading them twice.

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701504)

Some stories kick so much ass that I don't mind reading them twice.

Obligatory Simpsons.
"Yesbut we've got to do it from different angles! Again and again, and again and again and again!"

This story is so in your face it travelled back in time and made me pee my pants.

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701268)

So> it's not god damn print. Space is effectively infinite.
I missed the first one, so this is news to me.

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (1)

IshmaelDS (981095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701360)

not to mention they link different articles

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701512)

Oh, what are you complaining about?

When an artificial hip, or other load-bearing bone implant, has a higher modulus than bone (and they invariably do), they cause the load to be transmitted unevenly to the bone. The artificial hip is on a pin that goes down into the marrow on the top of the femur. In natural loading, each segment of bone (taken from top to bottom) is loaded equally in compression. With an artificial hip implanted, some of the force is transmitted directly to a deeper part of the femur. The top of the bone is loaded less heavily than it would have been under natural circumstances.

There. I've just become automatically plus five insightful, thanks to this guy [slashdot.org] . Free karma, THAT is how you do it.

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703922)

It’s always impressive, how finely tuned, balanced and efficient nature is...

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704262)

For the record, being moderated Funny doesn't help your Karma. [slashdot.org]

Re:Dupezilla strike again. (1)

shabtai87 (1715592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704602)

People, please let's stop clogging the tubes with redundant stories! What if I need to sent an internet later?

Pirate Technology has come a long way (4, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701014)

Pirate Technology has come a long way since the peg leg.

Wood vs Bone (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701020)

I always thought that wood and bone pretty much referred to the same thing.

Re:Wood vs Bone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701088)

You're thinking of wood and "boner", not "bone".

Re:Wood vs Bone (4, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701150)

"Boned" != "Wooded"

Re:Wood vs Bone (3, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701184)

"Boned" != "Wooded"

True enough, but in order for someone to be boned, the bone goes where it's wooded.

Re:Wood vs Bone (1)

xonar (1069832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701418)

Pure genious

Re:Wood vs Bone (2, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702634)

No. The bone goes where it is Bushy not wooded.

Re:Wood vs Bone (2, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703156)

The difference between bushy and wooded is the depth of the foliage.

Re:Wood vs Bone (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704004)

Says who? Boner = Woody ( = means equals, you programming language nazis)

Re:Wood vs Bone (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701600)

I always thought that wood and bone pretty much referred to the same thing.

There's one crucial difference: I'm not wooding your mom right now.

Re:Wood vs Bone (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701902)

I always thought that wood and bone pretty much referred to the same thing.

"Wood" is a noun, while "bone" is a verb.

Re:Wood vs Bone (1)

dolphinuser (211295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702178)

That would explain Tiger Woods.

Does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701048)

that we can now start growing meat on trees? Technically speaking.

Re:Does this mean... (1)

Hawke666 (260367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704464)

Nah, bone is not meat and rattan is not a tree. Though I guess it does grow on trees so there’s that.

Pfeh (2, Informative)

Godji (957148) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701052)

I do that every time I get an erection.

Re:Pfeh (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701110)

Now if only they would find a way to un-erect parts of the skeleton; that would be Fantastic.

Re:Pfeh (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701182)

Done. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Pfeh (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701156)

are you doing trials in sheep?

Re:Pfeh (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701972)

I too have wood for sheep.

Re:Pfeh (1)

Sanat (702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703212)

would you or wood ewe

Re:Pfeh (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703632)

You play Settler's of Catan too, eh?

Re:Pfeh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30703216)

You made me laugh like a retard. Thanks!

Re:Pfeh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701200)

That's not what she said...

Re:Pfeh (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701468)

.....Informative mod.....you actually managed to talk about your penis on the internet and have it modded informative. Wow. This kind of thing is going to be what makes up stories for our grandchildren when we get older.

Re:Pfeh (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702104)

You don't turn wood into bone... Cus it's not wood unless it's also bone. What you do is turn a limp noodle into bone and/or wood, which isn't the same.

Pamela Anderson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701066)

Pamela Anderson turns my wood into bone all the time... what's the big deal?

Walk on the Ocean (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701114)

step on the stoooones...

Flesh becomes water... (2, Funny)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701678)

Everybody sing [youtube.com] along [lyricsfreak.com] now...

Re:Flesh becomes water... (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702282)

You guys beat me to it.

This is just wrong! (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701142)

Giving sheep "a bone".

This is supposed to be Italy, not Montana. Geesh!

Re:This is just wrong! (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701190)

Well, you know...Italy does have an ancient heritage of strange sexual practices, some of which included animals...

Re:This is just wrong! (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701288)

Hmm, you are correct.

I forgot the whole "Romulus and Remus" thing.

Oh, and Caligula -- never mind.

Finally... (1)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701166)

Finally, they have discovered a decent use for rattan. Just promise to stop using it on chairs.

"You said 'wood'." (3, Funny)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701248)

Huh uhuhuhuhuhu huu huh huh huh huh huh huh huhuhuh huh.... You said "wood".

Yeah.. Heh heh M heh he.... And then you said "bone". Hehehehehehemehh.

Re:"You said 'wood'." (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701858)

Settle down Beavis. Take your meds or something.

Soon it will be . . . (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701256)

Sticks and stones ARE my bones!

Well, actually, a couple of my joints are titanium.

I, Meatbag (1)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701318)

Good news! Professor Farnsworth did it first in "Anthology of Interest II"

Replacements already exist (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701336)

Replacements already exist that have "load-bearing ability and also naturally fuses with the existing bone"

Although the use of wood instead of demineralized bone sounds new.

Bio-Scaffording.... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701342)

So this is just a "Cellulose based bio compatible organic bone replacement material" Bin freeking whoop dee do.....

I for one welcome our partially wood legged overlords....

Interesting... (1)

Asgerix (1035824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701364)

Well that's very interesting, because I am in fact made entirely of wood.

You're right (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702036)

I don't see your nose getting longer...

lame (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701368)

No bulletproofing. Less specific modulus than titanium. Lame.

Re:lame (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702142)

Once you put a huge chunk of conductor, like titanium, into your body, you can never set foot anywhere near a MRI machine. That might be a bummer years down the road.

Re:lame (1)

Hypoon (1095383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702812)

Now, I'm not entirely up on my E&M, but this ought to be somewhat informative to some people reading it. There are only three metallic elements (not including Rare Earth Metals) that can be magnetized: Iron, Nickel, and Cobalt. Titanium is not one of them, thus it won't be sucked toward a simple magnet. Note: Steel has Iron in it, that's why it is attracted to magnets and can be magnetized, etc...

Therefore, the reason why everyone uses titanium implants may be because they CAN in fact be near (or in) MRI machine.

On the other hand, there may be other things at play here. This is why my iffy E&M knowledge comes into play. I'm pretty much positive that the following is true, but I'm not sure that the effects are significant enough to matter. A changing magnetic field creates a current in conductors, which in turn creates its own magnetic field (opposite to the original one). These two magnetic fields would lead to a force. So... you may have current and a force acting on your titanium implant IF MRI machines use constantly changing magnetic fields. These effects are only present as the field changes, and go away if the field becomes constant.

I believe the MRI machine's magnetic field is constantly changing, but I don't believe that the current generated is enough to be even slightly harmful. The strength of a magnetic field decreases as an inverse-square relation to the distance away, so at 40 centimeters away the field is one sixteenth as strong as at 10 centimeters away from the magnet(s). I also don't believe that the resulting magnetic field would be strong enough to cause a noticeable force, for the same reasons. I would not be afraid to use an MRI with titanium implants.

If I remember correctly, they let me wear my brass belt-buckle in the MRI and it was fine. Brass is Copper and Zinc, neither of which are magnetic. There are some more fine details about ferromagnetics and paramagnetics, but for simplicity I'm leaving them out. I'm a Physics major, but I'm only starting my first college E&M course on the 19th (the above knowledge was from three years of physics in high-school). I would love to see what a diamagnetic material would do in an MRI.

Re:lame (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704046)

So what happens if you have a conductor MOVING through a static magnetic field? Will that induce an electric current?

Re:lame (1)

Hypoon (1095383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704376)

If the conductor follows a path that keeps the strength of the magnetic field constant, there will be no induced electric current. Without knowing much about MRI machines (specifically the shape of their field), I can't say whether it's likely or not to move along such a path. If the conductor moves such that the strength of the magnetic field at the conductor barely changes, there would be barely any current induced.

One case where no current would be produced would be if a conductor is moved parallel to a current-carrying wire. The wire generates a static magnetic field which does not change along the length of the wire, so the conductor does not experience any change in the magnetic field as it moves.

Re:lame (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704186)

You hit the key point yourself. An MRI has a huge, static magnetic field. But it also bombards the target with radio frequency radiation. Normally, the RF would simply cause the nuclei (and atoms they are a part of) to vibrate, but because of the large static field, their spin is contrained and instead the nuclei PRECESS, like a gyroscope tipped off axis will precess around the point of support without falling -- and as they do so, they give off radiation which can be detected. It is not the static magnetic field which causes problems, it's the RF scanning radiation. To put it simply, it will cause anything made of metal to heat up. That may not be a problem with your belt buckle, but for a large piece of metal which is embedded inside your body, heating is a PROBLEM.

Re:lame (1)

Hypoon (1095383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704462)

Very interesting, I don't know anything about that yet. What does such an effect depend upon? It obviously depends on the material and its metallic properties. Does it depend on the quantity of the material? Why does it apply only to metals? Would it apply to metals that do not conduct well, like Tungsten? Is your post theory, or is the effect known to be significant enough to be serious? Do you have any theories about why we are not using plastics instead of titanium then?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm curious.

Re:lame (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704340)

As a welder and metalsmith with a background in bike racing that left me with several metal-containing surgical repairs, I'm already completely hosed with respect to MRI's, so bring on the titanium bone replacements, say I!

A friend of mine used to do IT support for a company that made NMR's. They were *very* early adopters of LCD screens because CRT's were so hideously distorted even rooms away from the machines. They had security guards whose sole job it was to pat people down if they were going to be entering the part of the facility where the machines were running: a person could cause a million dollars of damage just by having a steel keyring forgotten in a pocket. He said it was a pretty cool job, from that standpoint, but not half as cool as when he was doing IT support at the place doing explosive welding fabrication.

Intentional pun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30701414)

End of the article: "Bones from wood could soon be opening up a new branch of medical science."

bahahaha

Prior Art (2, Informative)

simonsays22 (1716730) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701434)

Toad the Wet Sproket has already done that. They even walked on the ocean and turned flesh into water, too.

Re:Prior Art (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702318)

but they don't even have pictures (just memories to hold).

Well... (1)

hattable (981637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701442)

Seems like they needed more bones for the offering.

New meaning to "he's got wooden legs" (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701508)

Avoid termites at all costs.

That's quite a load you're carrying my young sapling.

Drown him... if he floats he's a witch... burn him... if he burns he's a witch...

Wood vs Bone (1)

kylben (1008989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701566)

Since when is Semantics a Slashdot category?

I hear a voice... (1)

asmodeus_dhoine (1515421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701718)

Good news, everyone! I've discovered reverse fossilization!

But (1)

paragon1 (1395635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701846)

Turning bone into wood is fairly redundant, yes?

A joyous cry from wooden boys everywhere (1)

TrickFred (231420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701924)

Finally, Pinocchio can become a real boy!

(Brought to you by Blue Fairy Medical Inc.)

finally! (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30701992)

Well, this outta be good news for Pinocchio.

Yep, (1)

norppalaho (878422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702030)

I'm sure this was invented only to see these comment's on /. Great Success.

sheep trauma? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702224)

The bone replacement is currently being tested in sheep, where, when inserted into the area of a fracture,

how are all these sheep getting fractures?

Re:sheep trauma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30702964)

The American Humane Association was too focussed on Avatar instead. Anybody else realize that at the end of the credits there was the "no animals were harmed..." disclaimer (which has to be issued by the AHA)? I didn't see any real animals in that film, and lots of the computer-generated ones were harmed. Ideas?

Sheep with broken bones. (1)

bigmonachus (1415821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702260)

I am wondering if they fracture the bones of the sheep or if they just happen to look very hard for injured sheep..

Oops! I misread this title. (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702322)

I thought this article was about turning a woodie into a boner.
..Which I always thought was pretty much the same thing, hence my inquisitiveness.

Gives "Woody" a whole new meaning (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702360)

Is that a replacement bone in your leg, or are you just happy to see me?

X-Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30702364)

Now I can't help but imagine a character like Wolverine who had wood fiber injected into him instead of adamantium. He'd have the obvious advantage that he'd be immune to Magneto...but he'd have to keep his distance from Pyro. ;)

Obscene... (2, Funny)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30702446)

Scientists change a woody into a boner. Khmm...

Wood. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30702948)

That is so steampunk!

uhhh huh huh huh huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30703336)

Butthead: He said "Wood!"

Beavis: Yeah yeah yeah... then he said "Bone!"

Shopping (1)

Boawk (525582) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703338)

convert rattan wood into a bone-like substance

(Grabs man-purse). Pier-1, HERE I COME!

reality.. (1)

Silpher (1379267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703460)

Man Wolverine got a complete shiny adiamantium skeleton replacement, here they put wood in your bones. Man reality sucks...

Ya gotta wonder.... (1)

wb5bbw (143967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703466)

if you'll start creaking as you sit down.

Re:Ya gotta wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30703826)

You try to be funny....

Obligatory PBF reference (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30703496)

Yarteries [pbfcomics.com] .

Oblig. Holy Grail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30704210)

Sir Bedevere: There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.
Peasant 1: Are there? Oh well, tell us.
Sir Bedevere: Tell me. What do you do with witches?
Peasant 1: Burn them.
Sir Bedevere: And what do you burn, apart from witches?
Peasant 1: More witches.
Peasant 2: Wood.
Sir Bedevere: Good. Now, why do witches burn?
Peasant 3: ...because they're made of... wood?
Sir Bedevere: Good. So how do you tell whether she is made of wood?
Peasant 1: Build a bridge out of her.
Sir Bedevere: But can you not also build bridges out of stone?
Peasant 1: Oh yeah.
Sir Bedevere: Does wood sink in water?
Peasant 1: No, no, it floats!... It floats! Throw her into the pond!
Sir Bedevere: No, no. What else floats in water?
Peasant 1: Bread.
Peasant 2: Apples.
Peasant 3: Very small rocks.
Peasant 1: Cider.
Peasant 2: Gravy.
Peasant 3: Cherries.
Peasant 1: Mud.
Peasant 2: Churches.
Peasant 3: Lead! Lead!
King Arthur: A Duck.
Sir Bedevere: ...Exactly. So, logically...
Peasant 1: If she weighed the same as a duck... she's made of wood.
Sir Bedevere: And therefore...
Peasant 2: ...A witch!

Wood becomes bone (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704276)

I think John Mayer said it best

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

Hello? Anyone?

Re:Wood becomes bone (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30704296)

You were just going to post about Toad The Wet Sprocket, weren't you?

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