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The Art in Science

Product Image Sternebrating


Zachary Tata, Ph.D. (Schipani Laboratory), Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School

The sternum or breastbone is the flat bone in the center of your chest. Small areas of cartilage connect the sternum to the bony ribs and together, this “cage” protects the heart and lungs from physical trauma. The sternum is made up of bony segments called sternebrae (similar to vertebrae), which are initially connected via cartilage, but fuse after growth is complete. In this image of the mouse sternum, cartilage is pink, while the bony areas are blue. Our lab is examining several mouse mutants in which bone formation is reduced in order to investigate the mechanisms behind bone development and growth and better understand bone related pathologies.