Muscle bundles within the ureter showing different levels of calcium. The red colour shows the highest level of calcium, followed by green and blue
New research into muscle contraction will give scientists a better understanding of bladder problems and pain during childbirth.
Professor Susan Wray, who heads the UK’s top rated Department of Physiology, and Dr Ted Burdyga, are studying muscles in the wall of the ureter, which connects the kidney to the bladder, to understand how muscles respond to signals in the body telling them to contract or relax. Their research, supported by the Medical Research Council, is published in this week’s issue of Nature.
Muscles contract and relax to allow the body to perform crucial activity. Electrical signals tell the muscle when to contract, but when the muscle needs to relax, the signal is deliberately ignored. Until now scientists have been unable to understand how the body ignores this signal.
Joanna Robotham | alfa
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