Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New look at atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the slow and progressive narrowing of arteries due to plaque formation. The atherosclerotic plaque forms by local proliferation of leukocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in the vessel wall ...

Medical research

Muscling in on the role of vitamin D

A recent study conducted at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research has shed light on the role of vitamin D in muscle cells. The study looked at the role of vitamin D in muscles in mice, and showed that vitamin D signaling ...

Cardiology

Changes in blood flow tell heart cells to regenerate

Altered blood flow resulting from heart injury switches on a communication cascade that reprograms heart cells and leads to heart regeneration in zebrafish, says a new study in eLife.

Medical research

First in vivo proof-of-concept in Steinert's myotonic dystrophy

Ana Buj Bello's team, a researcher in an Inserm unit at Genethon, the AFM-Telethon laboratory, has made the proof-of-concept of a CRISPR-Cas9 approach in a mouse model of Steinert's myotonic dystrophy, the most common neuromuscular ...

Muscle

Muscle (from Latin musculus, diminutive of mus "mouse") is the contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to produce force and cause motion. Muscles can cause either locomotion of the organism itself or movement of internal organs. Cardiac and smooth muscle contraction occurs without conscious thought and is necessary for survival. Examples are the contraction of the heart and peristalsis which pushes food through the digestive system. Voluntary contraction of the skeletal muscles is used to move the body and can be finely controlled. Examples are movements of the eye, or gross movements like the quadriceps muscle of the thigh. There are two broad types of voluntary muscle fibers: slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch fibers contract for long periods of time but with little force while fast twitch fibers contract quickly and powerfully but fatigue very rapidly.

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