Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ARR! muscles in polar coordinates ..

.. or, should i say, cγlindrical cοordinates?
"One of the major discoveries that David Williams brought to light is that force is generated in multiple directions, not just along the long axis of muscle as everyone thinks, but also in the radial direction.
The basics of how a muscle generates power remain the same: Filaments of myosin tugging on filaments of actin shorten, or contract, the muscle – but the power doesn’t just come from what’s happening straight up and down the length of the muscle, as has been assumed for 50 years. Instead, University of Washington-led research shows that as muscles bulge, the filaments are drawn apart from each other, the myosin tugs at sharper angles over greater distances, and it’s that action that deserves credit for half the change in muscle force scientists have been measuring.

~ from Biceps bulge, calves curve, 50-year-old assumptions muscled aside @u-dub

courtesy of the university of washington (so don't sue)

despite this being a mechanical and biological process, the funny thing is that the totals are apparently hard to measure:
"“The ability to model in three dimensions and separate the effects of changes in lattice spacing from changes in muscle length wouldn’t even have been possible without the advent of cloud computing in the last 10 years, because it takes ridiculous amounts of computational resources,” Williams said."
it makes me wonder: what basic but subtle aspects of nature have we been missing, all this time?

1 comment:

Thelma said...