Contact: Lee Siegel
University of Utah
Caption: The small, sea-dwelling sandcastle worm normally makes its tube-shaped home by using its tentacles to grab pieces of sand and shell from the water and attaching them with its own natural glue. But in the laboratory, the worm will make its tube out of just about anything it is given -- in the case of this photo, beads of zirconium oxide. A synthetic version of this seaworthy glue has been developed at the University of Utah for possible use in repairing small fragments of bone in people with fractured knee, wrist and other joint bones, and also facial bones.
Credit: Fred Hayes for the University of Utah
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