Muscle Insider Magazine
A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, are powered by muscle cells that have been genetically engineered to respond to light - giving researchers control over the bots' motion, a key step toward their use in applications for health, sensing, and the environment. Led by Rashid Bashir, the University of Illinois head of bioengineering, the group previously demonstrated bio-bots that were activated with an electrical field, but electricity can cause adverse side effects to a biological environment and does not allow for selective stimulation of distinct regions of muscle to steer the bio-bot. The new light-stimulation technique is less invasive and allows the researchers to steer the bio-bots in different directions. The bio-bots turn and walk toward the light stimulus.
Muscle Insider Magazine
Researchers at Stanford University are using light-activated proteins from photosynthetic algae to control nerve cells, according to New Scientist. They are testing the technique on anesthetized mice and measuring muscle contractions while stimulating the sciatic nerve with light-emitting diodes.
Light pulses fire nerves in the natural order, researchers told New Scientist, resulting in normal muscle movements, unlike electrical stimulation, which activates fast-twitch muscles before slow-twitch ones and results in jerky movements. If the technique translates to humans, that would mean new muscle functionality for people with cerebral palsy and paralysis.
They hypothesize and have early evidence that poor skeletal muscle health is a primary way factors like an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and stress reduce our sensitivity to insulin, putting us as risk for diabetes, and increase early markers of cardiovascular disease like stiffening arteries.
It may also make resistance training, which contracts our muscles, a new focus in the fight to stay healthy, says Dr. Ryan A. Harris, clinical exercise and vascular physiologist at the MCG Georgia Prevention Institute and Department of Medicine.
Particularly with the identical twins, their girth tends to be similar, they note, even though they may now be living in very different environments. Their similarities and differences makes it easier for the investigators to parse how much environmental factors, rather than genetics, contribute to fatness and muscle strength.
Muscle uses a lot of oxygen and is a big energy user overall, notes Harris. One of its many health benefits is in pulling glucose out of our blood so muscle cell powerhouses, called mitochondria, can use it to help make ATP, the fuel for cells. Benefits of high glucose use include reducing type 2 diabetes risk, a common consequence of obesity, and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
With obesity, for example, you may have a lot of muscle, which is needed to help manage the extra weight, but it may not be efficient muscle, Harris says of what is called the obesity paradox of bone health. Because while it was once thought that weight-bearing activity automatically translated to stronger bones, now there is evidence that individuals with obesity actually have higher fracture rates.
Another key way healthy muscle is good for you is through production of small proteins called myokines that can help do good things like maintain metabolic homeostasis and improve internal communication in organs like muscle to help keep them running well. Myokines, released when muscles contract, can also help dampen destructive inflammation that occurs in diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. But there also are destructive myokines, like the inflammation promoting IL-6, which is a strongly associated with cardiovascular disease.
So the investigators are using whole body vibration, where standing on a vibrating platform prompts muscles to contract, to assess the myokine mix each study participant is producing to provide a snapshot of their muscle health without an actual muscle biopsy. One of the known effects of poor environmental factors is diminished function of the important muscle cell powerhouses, so the investigators are using near infrared spectroscopy to also take a noninvasive look at their oxygen use and function.
There have been few studies looking at myokines in humans. But it is known that myokines have a short half-life, which is why regular efforts that increase muscle contraction could be helpful. In fact, the MCG investigators have evidence that a single session of whole body vibration actually starts to improve the mix, so they are looking at the direct response of myokines to whole-body vibration.
A: The player mass to bat speed formula. Physically modeling a big-league swing -- what physicist RobertAdair calls "a rather complex energy transfer system" -- isn't easy. Adair's formula is a logical approximation rooted in the assumption that the total energy a batter can generate is linearly proportional to his muscle mass. The root assumption is pretty sound; the bat speeds it produces are estimates.
A: Simple. Steroids build muscle. Muscle enhances bat speed. We are trying to isolate the effects ofsteroids. As such, we assume that all other factors during each home run -- such as the speed and spin ofthe pitch, or the angle of contact with the bat -- would have been the same whether Bonds weighed 180pounds or 230 pounds at the time.
On stage with him were Joshua Hirsch, CTO, PUBLICIS KAPLAN THALER, Michael Bayle, SVP Global Programmatic, XAD INC., Harry Kargman, CEO, KARGO, and J.B. Raftus, CMO, GSD&M. Read on for a record of their dialog, complete with insider takeaways and tips for effective brand storytelling in a digital age. (This is 90% word-for-word transcript, 10% paraphrased.)
Machine learning does a fantastic job of highlighting areas where conditions are ripe for an insider attack. It is an invaluable tool in the ongoing fight to better secure against breaches, leaks, theft, and sabotage, but it should remain a tool that people lever to improve their decision-making capability.
DMD is an X-linked genetic disorder impacting boys and is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness, leading to loss of ambulation by 8 to 15 years of age, and eventually early death by mid-twenties. There is no effective treatment for DMD and the disease cannot be cured. Corticosteroids can delay muscle inflammation for a couple of years, but cannot cure the disease.
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For the study, published in Neuromuscular Disorders, a 3-month-old male Boykin spaniel with progressive weakness underwent physical and neurological examination, including a muscle biopsy and whole genome sequencing. The whole genome sequencing uncovered a mutation impacting the MTM1 gene that guides the production of the myotubularin enzyme, which is involved in the development and maintenance of muscle cells.
"Our discovery shows that we can use MRI to study heart muscle activity," explains Dr. Prato. "We've been successful in using a pre-clinical model, and now we are preparing to show this can be used to accurately detect heart disease in patients."
Repeat exposure to carbon dioxide is used to test how well the heart's blood vessels are working to deliver oxygen to the muscle. A breathing machine changes the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood. This change should result in a change in blood flow to the heart but does not happen when disease is present. The cfMRI method reliably detects whether these changes are present. 041b061a72