BIOL 426
Frontiers in Muscle Physiology: Controversies
Last Offered Fall 2013
Division III Writing Skills
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

While an active muscle produces force, contraction of muscle is far from the only function of this intriguing organ system. Muscle plays a major role in metabolic regulation of organisms, acts as a glucose storage facility, regulates blood pressure in mammals, and produces numerous hormones. The mechanism for contractile activity varies not only among different organisms, but also among different muscles within the same organism. Controversies, disagreements, and arguments pervade the muscle biology literature perhaps because of the integrative nature of the science. In this tutorial course, we will utilize molecular, physiological, comparative, and evolutionary aspects of muscle biology to address current controversies of this dynamic tissue. Some questions that will be addressed include: 1) Lactic acid generated by skeletal muscle is / is not involved with fatigue at high exercise intensity, 2) Satellite cells are / are not obligatory for skeletal muscle hypertrophy, 3) Do mammals possess the same “stretch activation” of skeletal muscle as seen in insect flight muscle?, 4) Are smooth and skeletal muscles from the same lineage of cells, or do they represent convergent evolution on the tissue level? After an initial group meeting, students meet weekly with a tutorial partner and the instructor for an hour each week. Every other week at this tutorial meeting, students present a written and oral critical analysis of the assigned research articles. Students not making a presentation question and critique the work of their colleague.
The Class: Format: tutorial meeting one hour a week
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1240
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation is based on five tutorial papers of four pages each, five critiques, tutorial presentations, and general participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino option
Prerequisites: BIOL 205
Enrollment Preferences: Biology majors who have not had a 400-level biology course
Unit Notes: does not satisfy the distribution requirement in the Biology major
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills
Attributes: BIMO Interdepartmental Electives

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