osteopoikilosis (ästēōpȯikə̇lōsə̇s)

My dad is a radiologist and he suggested that we start our medical theme with the word osteopoikilosis. Some diseases are best shown with medical imaging, which is what my dad is an expert in. This disease is a great example.

Osteopoikilosis is also known as “spotted bone disease.” Bone is made of two major parts: the cortical bone, which is on the outside, and the medullary bone, which is on the inside. When cortical bone forms islands inside the medullary bone in multiple locations in the body, osteopoikilosis occurs.

The disease is associated with symptoms such as joint pains, rashes, syndactyly (when digits fuse together), and dwarfism. It has a characteristic look on x-ray with bone islands concentrated around joints.

Osteopoikilosis comes from the Greek roots osteo- meaning bone, and poikilo- meaning spotted or variegated. The suffix -osis meaning condition of. Osteopoikilosis literally means “condition of spotted bone.”

Metamorphosis (metə-morfəsə̇s)

My sister recently received caterpillars for her sixth birthday. The hungry caterpillars arrived in a jar with food, and we were able to observe them as they went through the different stages of their life cycle. A week after they arrived, the caterpillars became chrysalides, and underwent metamorphosis. Ten days later, they emerged as beautiful Painted Lady butterflies. We were in awe as we watched this amazing process occur before our eyes. Metamorphosis contains the Greek roots meta- meaning change and -morph meaning form. The suffix -osis means a process or condition. The roots and the suffix tell us that metamorphosis means “the process of changing form.” Animals that undergo metamorphosis are butterflies, moths, and frogs.