Quiz – Down To The Marrow

Does the idea of something soft hidden inside a hard shell make you think of the natural sciences? Or maybe just Tootsie Pops? Either way that description fits our bones, which give our body structure and protect our organs. Inside these solid structures is something that is quite soft yet also quite powerful in the fight against disease. Take our quiz to learn more:


1. Bones are made of these main types of material EXCEPT:

A. Marrow
B. Spongy bone
C. Shell bone
D. Compact bone

2. The two types of bone marrow are called:

A. Alpha and beta
B. Vascular and fatty
C. Autologous and allogeneic
D. Red and yellow


3. An injury to bone marrow is known as an osteoblast.

A. True
B. False


4. One possible treatment for certain cancers and blood disorders is a transplant of healthy bone marrow cells to replace faulty or diseased cells.

A. True
B. False


5. A bone marrow transplant may be the best treatment option for:

A. Leukemia and lymphoma
B. Sickle cell disease
C. Multiple myeloma
D. Certain inherited immune system disorders
E. All of the above

6. Matching donors is more complicated with bone marrow than it is with blood types.

A. True
B. False


1. C. Shell bone. Compact (also known as cortical) bone is the hard outer layer of bone. Spongy (also known as trabecular or cancellous) bone is found mostly at the ends of bones and, though porous, is not soft. The soft tissue on the inside of bones is called marrow.

2. D. Red and yellow. Both types have blood vessels running through them. New red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are made in red marrow. Yellow marrow is mostly fat.

3. B. False. Osteoblasts are a kind of cell that helps make new bones or rebuild broken ones. “Osteo” is the Greek word for bone, and is used in several medical terms that relate to bones. “Blast” also derives from a Greek word for growth.

4. A. True. With a successful donor match, certain patients can receive healthy cells through a transfusion that will create new red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

5. E. All of the above. The transplant replaces unhealthy blood-forming cells, also known as stem cells, with healthy ones. In certain cases, a transplant can cure the patient.

6. A. True. Physicians must match donors based on their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type. HLA are proteins found on cells. They work as markers that show how each person’s tissue type is unique. If there is a basic match, additional testing will be needed to determine which donor matches the patient most closely.

Sources: St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Health Library and Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, at bethematch.org. 

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