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Many diseases do not show on images of skeletons, such as fever or many infectious illnesses, because they act too quickly to change the bone. If death is rapid, there is often no trace at all on the pictures of skeletal remains, though there can be traces of DNA or RNA left in the bone structure.

However, some disease or pathology will directly affect the skeletal bones, which can easily be seen in photos and displays, such as TB, rickets, leprosy and syphilis (in the later stages).

Diseases that affect the body during childhood can be so severe that bone growth is interrupted, causing lines that can be seen in the adult teeth or cross section of the large bones.

Many more images of diseased bones are available. However, as they were taken working with anatomists and other professionals, and sometimes of material that is held under the Human Tissue Act, the images cannot easily be displayed ethically. Please contact the skeleton photographer directly if you have need of such photos for academic research.

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