Neuroscience

Like mountaineers, nerves need expert guidance to find their way

Similar to the dozens of Sherpas that guide hikers up treacherous Himalayan mountains to reach a summit, the nervous system relies on elaborate timing and location of guidance cues for neuronal axons—threadlike projections—to ...

Medical research

New technique shows promise for heart muscle regeneration

Researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, have developed an approach to regenerate heart muscle using stem cells. Their method for priming stem cells to become heart tissues could potentially enable heart regeneration ...

Medical research

Oscillation in muscle tissue

When a muscle grows or a muscle injury heals, some stem cells develop into new muscle cells. A research team at the MDC led by Carmen Birchmeier has now described in the journal Genes & Development how this process is regulated ...

Medical research

Found: The missing ingredient to grow blood vessels

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered an ingredient vital for proper blood vessel formation that explains why numerous promising treatments have failed. The discovery offers important ...

Medical research

Researchers create a new molecule to treat heart failure

A group of researchers based in Brazil and the United States have developed a molecule that halts the progression of heart failure and improves the heart's capacity to pump blood. Rats with heart failure were treated for ...

Health

Bedtime protein for bigger gains? Here's the scoop

Drinking a casein shake just before overnight sleep increases gains in muscle mass and strength in response to resistance exercise. But to date, no study has directly addressed whether this effect is due to increased total ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

How the obesity epidemic is taking a toll on our bones and joints

Deb Baranec wasn't always obese. As a teenager, she carried a few extra pounds but managed it by being active. Her weight crept up, however, and by the time she suffered her first knee injury while skiing at the age of 27, ...

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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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