What Are Bone Fragments?

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There are many techniques used to study the world's past. There are also many techniques to help forensic scientists catch a criminal or identify a body. Finally, there are also many surgical techniques that help doctors to heal those who have become injured. With three such distinct areas, how can they all be related? The simple answer to the question of how they are related is that bone fragments are used by professionals in these three fields to get their jobs done.

What are Bones?

  • According to the online dictionary for Princeton (n.d.), bones are defined as rigid connective tissue that makes up the skeleton of vertebrates. Bones are primarily made of cells but they are also made of materials such as calcium and collagen. Bones consist of two parts, the outer layer and inner layer. The outer layer is a hard shell, while the inner layer consists of porous cells that create a honeycomb effect. Additionally, within the bone there is a jellylike material known as bone marrow. All bones produce this red and yellow substance within them to help the body to store fats and sugars.

What is a Fragment?

  • According to the online dictionary for Princeton (n.d.), the word fragment is defined as a piece broken off or cut off of something else. A fragment is simply a piece representing an incomplete whole due to the fact that the whole is missing this essential piece. For example, in the English language a sentence is considered a sentence fragment when all the pieces of a sentence are not present together to make the sentence a whole.

What is a Bone Fragment?

  • Combining the definition of the word bone and the definition of the word fragment, it becomes clear that a bone fragment is a single piece of a bone that was once whole. Therefore, you can deduce that bone fragments could possibly be pieced together to form a whole bone if enough fragments were available.

Bone Fragments and History

  • Bone fragments have been discovered in archaeological digs all over the world. These uncovered relics allow archaeologists to unlock the world of our past. Bone fragments can tell us how old a living thing was, the age of the living thing and other vital information that helps these professionals to fill in the gaps of our human history and the history of the planet as well. These tiny discoveries can unlock a world of vast information that is important to our history.

Bone Fragments and Forensics

  • Forensic science uses a great deal of techniques to do their job and solve crimes. These professionals combine math, science and other subjects to catch criminals. They can use bone fragments found on the scene of a crime to determine bullet trajectory, the age of a victim, the gender of the victim and other elements that help them to identify the person that has been violated and who may not be able to speak for themselves. These small clues often help put a name and description to an otherwise "John Doe."

Bone Fragments and Medicine

  • In the medical community, a bone fragment is a break in the bone that needs to be repaired. Bone fragments are often repaired using splints or casts to immobilize the broken area(s) of the bone so that the bones can heal themselves.

References

  • Photo Credit "Ossuary" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Todd Huffman (Todd Huffman) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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