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July 14, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(11):1032. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670110052018

Muscle tissue accounts for about 40% of the mass of the body; it is obvious, therefore, that the pattern of metabolism of muscle dominates that of the body as a whole. The characteristic chemical reaction of the muscle —oxidation with the production of heat—is looked on as typical of that of the body as a whole. Of the muscle mass, about 80% of the solids is accounted for by proteins, which have long been looked on as possessing unique properties, both chemical and physical. The transformation of energy which is evolved in the course of glycolysis in muscle to mechanical work produced by the muscle is a phenomenon that is yet only partly understood. However, recent studies of muscle proteins themselves, along with the adaptation of new physical techniques, have greatly facilitated a better understanding of the intricate physical chemistry of muscular contraction.

An early suggestion of the unusual properties