Muscles `clasp at rest`

Washington: Scientists have long believed that muscle fibres lie in straight lines.

However, a new study has now revealed that muscle fibres, in fact, buckle when they are shortened and at rest.

An international team, led by Robert Herbert at George Institute for Global Health, has based its conclusion on an analysis of ultrasound images of muscles.

"This contradicts previously accepted models of how muscles work, and has never been observed before. This new understanding will allow us to build more accurate models of muscle function," team member Prof Simon Gandevia, a muscle function expert at Neuroscience Research Australia, said.

According to the team, the findings will have medical implications.

"It may also help us better understand conditions with poor muscle performance due to abnormalities in muscle length, such as spasticity in cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis," said Prof Gandevia.

The study has been published in the latest edition of the `Journal of Physiology`.


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