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January 6, 1975

Muscle Physiology

Author Affiliations

University of Iowa Hospitals Iowa City


by Francis D. Carlson and Douglas R. Wilkie, 170 pp, with illus, $8.95, New York, Prentice-Hall, 1974.

JAMA. 1975;231(1):85. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240130065036

Our understanding of cell biology, generated by the convergence of various, hitherto separate disciplines (biochemistry, physiology, and biophysics) represents a modern intellectual revolution. The study of skeletal muscle as delineated in this monograph epitomizes this. The authors successfully summarize in a concise, integrated, and logical fashion many volumes produced in the past two decades during which most of this saga evolved.

In all sections, interspersed historical references provide the background against which contemporary views become comprehensible. Throughout various themes, the writers admirably intertwine biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, and biophysics. Some mathematical and biophysical concepts remain beyond the scope of a novice.

Initial sections on control sequence and mechanics provide a synopsis of neuromuscular-skeletal function ranging from the initial nerve stimulation, through excitation-contraction coupling, to work performed.

Discussions of the imposing molecular structure of this fascinating tissue serve to introduce the description of the equally superb mechanism wherein chemically stored energy