Neuroscience

Testing new drugs with 'ALS-on-a-chip'

There is no cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that gradually kills off the motor neurons that control muscles and is diagnosed in nearly 6,000 people per year in the United States.

Medical research

Immune cells help older muscles heal like new

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have found a critical component for growing self-healing muscle tissues from adult muscle—the immune system. The discovery in mice is expected to play an important role in studying ...

Genetics

New insights into the healing capacity of the heart

A group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the Texas Heart Institute and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston reveals today in the journal Genes & Development new insights into the recently ...

Genetics

A protein essential for chikungunya virus replication identified

Originally from Africa, chikungunya is aptly named. It derives from a word in the Kimakonde language meaning "to become contorted," because the severe muscle and joint pains endured by the patients prevent them from moving ...

Neuroscience

Neurological signals from the spinal cord surprise scientists

With a study of the network between nerve and muscle cells in turtles, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have gained new insight into the way in which movements are generated and maintained. In the long term, ...

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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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