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« The Awakening Spreads | Main | It's That Time Of Year Again »

Building Stronger Bones

...through vibrators.

No, not that kind of vibrator. Get your mind out of the gutter:

Dr. Rubin, director of the Center for Biotechnology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, is reporting that in mice, a simple treatment that does not involve drugs appears to be directing cells to turn into bone instead of fat.

All he does is put mice on a platform that buzzes at such a low frequency that some people cannot even feel it. The mice stand there for 15 minutes a day, five days a week. Afterward, they have 27 percent less fat than mice that did not stand on the platform and correspondingly more bone.

It would be interesting to see if this could palliate effects of free fall on bone and muscle strength. Of course, "standing on" something is kind of an oxymoron in weightlessness. But perhaps they could strap themselves down to a vibrating table. It would beat the exercise machines they currently use.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 31, 2007 07:27 AM
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Save time--sleep on one.

Posted by Big D at October 31, 2007 08:29 AM

Could be a useful weight-loss tool if it works for humans as well as mice. Incorporate it into office chairs/beds/etc and watch the flab melt away!

Posted by Jason B. at October 31, 2007 12:41 PM

This explains why porn stars are well boned.

Posted by at October 31, 2007 03:52 PM

The trouble with vibrations is that after a while, they make you crap like a cement mixer pouring a four-lane highway. I wonder if you could get the bone growth benefit without side effects.

Posted by Artemus at October 31, 2007 06:10 PM

Promising as a supplement to the exercise machines, but I doubt that it would be a total replacement.

Posted by Steve Rogers at October 31, 2007 06:12 PM

I wonder how much benefit this could bring to osteoporosis patients? Could it perhaps help them regrow bone?

Posted by Stewart at October 31, 2007 07:09 PM

This is part of the reason why cats purr. Often an injured cat will purr, not because it is happy, but because the vibrations help it to heal.

Posted by Ed Minchau at October 31, 2007 09:30 PM

Can we assume you're being facetious? Of course the purr of a cat does not indicate contentment, but trust. And an injured cat will purr to indicate trust in whoever is treating the injury.

Posted by Mike Combs at November 1, 2007 05:22 AM

No Mike, I'm serious. The vibrations help a cat to heal, particularly to heal broken bones, and for the same reason that it works for the mice in the study.

Posted by Ed Minchau at November 1, 2007 05:49 AM

This (vibrations and healing) are all well known in alternative circles. So I'm not surprised by Ed's observation. Purring has it's human version:

Yogic breathing and the reverberations of the sound "OOMMM" have been noted for their healing power. Try making that sound with your eyes and mouth closed and you should feel vibrations throughout your body, particularly the sinuses. Generally it should also feel quite energizing and yet calming.

Indian peacekeepers in Lebanon have apparently started teaching the kids up there Yoga and meditation with a focus on Yogic breathing. Maybe our troops can use it instead of Jumping Jacks which apparently don't work on the Iraqis;
which in my opinion, having watched the video linked elsewhere on this blog, appears to me as the Iraqi method of giving our troops the jack finger.

Of course Yogic breathing it also has connotations with visualization of peace and non-violence which may grate on Rand's general world view ;-) you know give peace a chance and all that kind of soppy stuff. Not quite what a fighting keyboardist does, if you know what I mean. Anyway if it makes one live longer, then, hey, try it....

Posted by Toast_n_Tea at November 1, 2007 09:26 AM

Oh man there's a "funny bug" epidemic this week at Rand's ^_^

Your comment was all fine and dandy until you had to bring politics into it T'n'T. I'll take my jumping jack OOMMMs during UFO experiences without that part thank you very much, the borderline demarcating insanity has to run somewhere ^_^

Posted by Habitat Hermit at November 1, 2007 03:03 PM

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