Related topics: genes · protein · mice · cells · stem cells

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 ...

Vitamin B3 revitalizes energy metabolism in muscle disease

An international team of scientists, led by University of Helsinki reported that vitamin B3, niacin, has therapeutic effects in progressive muscle disease. Niacin delayed disease progression in patients with mitochondrial ...

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.

Shrinking instead of growing: How shrews survive the winter

Common shrews have one of the highest metabolic rates among mammals. They must therefore consume a considerable amount of energy for their relatively low body weight. Because their fat reserves are quickly used up, they often ...

Researchers use snake venom to solve structure of muscle protein

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have uncovered the detailed shape of a key protein involved in muscle contraction. The report, published today in Neuron, may lead to improved understanding of muscle-weakening ...

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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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