10 July 2013
Vol 5, Issue 193

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Deconstructing the Bone. Shown is a schematic structure of healthy bone. The bone is composed of cylinders called osteons, formed by concentric layers of proteins and mineralized matrix, with blood vessels in the center. By comparing the composition of bones from individuals with vitamin D deficiency (osteomalacia) with those of healthy controls, Busse and colleagues have discovered structural differences that make these patients’ bones unusually fragile. Osteomalacia is a disorder characterized by decreased bone mineralization and increased osteoid, the soft component of bone. Now the authors have shown that underneath this soft osteoid, the bones of patients with osteomalacia are unusually hard and brittle. In a related Focus, Hofbauer and Hamann discuss the implications of these findings for patient treatment. [CREDIT: H. McDONALD/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE]