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December 24, 1973

The Structure and Function of Muscle, vol 3: Physiology and Biochemistry

Author Affiliations

University Hospitals Iowa City

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1575. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130063044

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The third volume of this standard reference on muscle presents an outstanding summary of rapidly expanding knowledge engendered by investigators who strive to understand the complex tissue that can convert chemical energy to kinetic energy. This volume undoubtedly presents the most complex subject matter in the series, and the level of difficulty represents a quantum jump from that of volume 1. To gain the most from it, one should probably have more than a passing acquaintance with principles of electricity, mechanics, and higher mathematics.

Discussions on electrical properties portray the "T" system as a passive electrical network in three dimensions and relate current flow to calcium flux from the sarcoplasmic reticulum during contraction. A chapter on the neuromuscular junction provides a comprehensive survey on electrochemical propagation of impulses. The elucidation of the role of acetylcholine includes its structure, release, function, and destruction. After perusal of this section, no one will