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    A column in the body consisting of 33 vertebrae.


The bones that make up the spine.


Spina Bifida
A neural tube defect resulting from the improper closure of the fetal spine. The defect can be low in the spine and problems are often mild. If the defect is higher in the spine it can cause more serious problems such as leg paralysis and & bladder control.

Spina bifida
A birth defect caused by imperfect closure of part of the spinal column, exposing some of the nervous system.

Spinal anesthesia
Injection of an anesthetic into the area around the spinal cord to block pain sensation during surgery.

Spinal cord
The ovoid column of nervous tissue, extending from the medulla to the second lumbar vertebra in the spinal canal. All nerves to the trunk and limbs issue from the spinal cord, the center of reflex action containing conducting paths to and from the brain. Sensory neurons enter posteriorly; motor nerves arise anteriorly.

Spinal disorders
Any of the disorders relating to the spine, including spina bifida and scoliosis.

Spinal fluid
See cerebrospinal fluid

Spindle apparatus
A microtubule assembly appearing during cell division. Microtubules are part of the cytoskeleton of biological cells, the quasi-rigid matrix that among other things determines cell shape. The microtubules are 25 nanometers in diameter, and composed of the protein tubulin. They occur in regular arrays in cilia, flagella, the mitotic spindle, and in the cytoplasm in general, and they contribute not only to cell shape, but also to cell motility.


The science of measuring the emission and absorption of different wavelengths (spectra) of visible and non-visible light, this can be done via a spectroscope, which consists of a slit, prism, collimator lens, object lens, and a grating.

The instrument used to measure blood pressure.

A ring-like band of muscle that opens and closes an opening in the body. An example is the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach known as the lower esophageal sphincter.

Sphincter of Oddi
The muscle between the common bile duct and pancreatic ducts.

Spinal anesthesia
Injection of an anesthetic into the area around the spinal cord to block pain sensation during surgery.


The organ that cleans blood and makes white blood cells.

Splenic flexure syndrome
A condition that occurs when air or gas collects in the upper parts of the colon. Causes pain in the upper left abdomen. The pain often moves to the left chest and may be confused with heart problems.

A degenerative process of the cervical spine that causes narrowing of the spinal canal and neural foramina, and produces compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots.

A partial or complete tear of a ligament.

Squamous cell cancer
A slow-growing cancer in cells in the top layer of the skin.

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