Immunology

Exercising muscle combats chronic inflammation on its own

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that human muscle has an innate ability to ward off the damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised. The discovery was made possible through the use of ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

'Smiling eyes' may not signify true happiness after all

A smile that lifts the cheeks and crinkles the eyes is thought by many to be truly genuine. But new research at Carnegie Mellon University casts doubt on whether this joyful facial expression necessarily tells others how ...

Medical research

NAD+ can restore age-related muscle deterioration

The older we grow, the weaker our muscles get, riddling old age with frailty and physical disability. But this doesn't only affect the individual, it also creates a significant burden on public healthcare. And yet, research ...

Health

Get the facts on exercise and chronic disease

If you have a chronic condition, you might have questions about exercising. How often can you exercise? Which exercises are safe? Understand the basics about exercise and chronic disease.

Medical research

How the brain paralyzes you while you sleep

We laugh when we see Homer Simpson falling asleep while driving, while in church, and even while operating the Springfield nuclear reactor. In reality though, narcolepsy, cataplexy and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior ...

Medical research

Researchers identify promising model for studying human aging

There are many components to aging, both mental and physical. When it comes to the infrastructure of the human body—the musculoskeletal system that includes muscles, bones, tendons and cartilage—age-associated decline ...

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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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