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D. A Detailed Look At Osteoporosis

Narrator: This is Science Today. An x-ray microscope developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory may help researchers treat osteoporosis. Lab physicist John Kinney explains how.

Kinney: It allows us to take extremely high spacial resolution pictures in three dimensions without touching or disturbing the tissue. The fact that it's three dimensional allows us really to look at a few of the long standing problems that have plagued mineralized tissue research. One of those is the mechanical function of the tissue.

Narrator: Researchers are using the x-ray microscope to study the long term effects of bisphosphonates, a new category of drugs which slow down the development of osteoporosis.

Kinney: These treatments shut down bone remodeling and we want to know what in the long term this will do to the bone quality. Because if a woman begins taking them at the ages of fifty, fifty-five years old, what will their bone look like at the age of 75 or 80 years old? Can we understand what that will be before we have to see it clinically.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.