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Viscosity and Contraction of Unstraited Muscle


THERE is a close resemblance between the effects of ions on the protoplasmic viscosity of simple organisms and plants on one hand and their effects on the viscosity of unstriated muscle on the other. The viscosity of the protoplasm in these simple organisms can be measured by standard methods (for literature see ref. 1), but the viscosity of unstriated muscle is measured by comparing it to known viscous-elastic systems2,3; the similarity of the effects on simple organisms and on muscle gives an insight into the structure of the latter, and further establishes the validity of the indirect methods for determining its viscosity.

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  2. Winton, F. R., J. Physiol., 69, 393 (1930).

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  3. Singh, I., Proc. Ind. Acad. Sci., 17, 13 (1943); NATURE, 152, 132 (1943).

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  4. Astbury, W. T., and Dickinson, S., Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 119, 307 (1940).

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SINGH, I. Viscosity and Contraction of Unstraited Muscle. Nature 153, 591–592 (1944).

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