Related topics: cells · genes · muscle · stem cells · nerve cells

Probing the secret forces of pericytes

Leiden researchers found a way to measure the tiny forces exerted by pericytes, one of the most elusive, hard to research cell types, which occur in tiny blood vessels. Building on this fundamental science, researchers may ...

Urge to merge: Understanding how cells fuse

Scientists have known for a decade that cells that fuse with others to perform their essential functions—such as muscle cells that join together to make fibers—form long projections that invade the territory of their ...

Study the effect of long-term oxygen deficiency

Researchers at Luleå University of Technology have developed a method to study how muscle cells in the blood vessels of the lung permanently contract because of long-term oxygen deficiency. This phenomenon leads to increased ...

Nanostimulators boost stem cells for muscle repair

In regenerative medicine, an ideal treatment for patients whose muscles are damaged from lack of oxygen would be to invigorate them with an injection of their own stem cells.

Modeling the human eye in a dish

Despite its small size relative to the rest of the body, the eye is one of the most complex organs of the human body and has been difficult to study in a lab. Now, researchers from Osaka University have developed a novel ...

Growing stem cells for deep space exploration

Earth's magnetosphere protects us from the most harmful cosmic rays that bombard our planet but beyond this natural shield, astronauts are subjected to radiation that is a hundred times more than at sea level.

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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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