Chapter

Muscle: The New Physiology

Alan J. McComas

in Galvani’s Spark

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751754
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897094 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751754.003.0017
Muscle: The New Physiology

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Hodgkin and Huxley turn their attention to muscle. Hodgkin measures the membrane and action potentials of the fibres with glass microelectrodes, while Huxley is interested in the nature of the contractile process. He and Hugh Huxley independently discover a sliding filament mechanism, in which actin filaments are moved along the myosin filaments by molecular cross-bridges. Katz, meanwhile, is exploring transmission at the neuromuscular junction with microelectrodes and discovers that the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, is released from the nerve endings in packets (the synaptic vesicles).

Keywords: Alan Hodgkin; William Nastuk; Silvio Weidmann; resting potentials; action potentials; Andrew Huxley; Hugh Huxley; sliding filament mechanism

Chapter.  6611 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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