Nerve and Muscle / Edition 4

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Written with undergraduate students in mind, the new edition of this classic textbook provides a compact introduction to the physiology of nerve and muscle. It gives a straightforward account of the fundamentals accompanied by some of the experimental evidence upon which this understanding is based. It first explores the nature of nerve impulses, clarifying their mechanisms in terms of ion flow through molecular channels in cell membranes. There then follows an account of the synaptic transmission processes by which one excitable cell influences activity in another. Finally, the emphasis turns to the consequences of excitable activity in the activation of contraction in skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle, highlighting the relationships between cellular structure and function. This fourth edition includes new material on the molecular nature of ion channels, the activation of skeletal muscle and the function of cardiac and smooth muscle, reflecting exciting new developments in these rapidly growing fields.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Huang has taken on the mammoth task of bringing the book up to date and has succeeded in maintaining the enthusiastic and eminently readable approach of Keynes and Aidley who created one of the greatest physiology books covering the crucial areas of nerve and muscle. The fascinating historical perspective on the discovery of membrane potentials, the transmission of nerve impulses and their molecular basis is essential reading for students of medicine and physiology with a curiosity about scientific methods, and progress. The chapters on muscle - skeletal, cardiac and smooth - show how the concepts elaborated for nerve cells are relevant to contractile tissues, and how the electrical signals are translated into movement. The new edition shows how the important discoveries in the twentieth century remain central today, and the book provides the groundwork for the enormous and exciting task that still lies ahead, namely the understanding of how nerve transmission in the central nervous system is integrated to achieve the higher functions of the human brain, memory, learning and consciousness."
Michael A. Ferenczi, Imperial College London

"This book is a beautifully written gem. It is clearly illustrated, and it makes one of the most difficult areas of biology completely accessible. It should find its way onto the bookshelves of electrophysiologists everywhere and any students who aspire to master one of the most exciting areas of modern biology."
Denis Noble, University of Oxford

"... an excellent summary of the fundamentals of each system and their interactions, while introducing some historic and contemporary experimental evidence on which current understanding is based. Highly recommended."
K.A. Campbell, Choice Magazine

From The Critics
Reviewer: George Maeda, PhD (Loma Linda University)
Description: This is one of the few books that provide a highly physiological, experimental perspective on the excitation of nerve and muscle. It is abundantly illustrated with figures from the primary literature highlighting the underpinnings of excitable membrane electrophysiology, intercellular communication, and muscle function. The few updates to this edition include voltage-gated channel molecular structure, skeletal muscle dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptors and smooth muscle activation. The previous edition was published in 1991.
Purpose: The stated objective is to give students a sound foundation in the fundamentals of nerve and muscle function from an experimental viewpoint. The authors have done this by following the pathway of discovery as revealed in the literature of the day, especially in the area of membrane electrophysiology.
Audience: The stated audience for this "introductory account" is university students in physiology, cell biology, and preclinical medicine. While a noble effort is made by these veteran researchers to evoke excitement by looking over the shoulders of giants, students without an adequate knowledge of general physics will probably have to stand on tiptoes to appreciate the view.
Features: The major portion of this book deals with membrane electrophysiology, especially the voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels, from a classical and molecular perspective. The authors weave their way from the resting membrane clear through to synaptic communication including transmitters and receptors. The molecular basis and mechanical events of skeletal muscle contraction are discussed followed by a comparison of the excitation-contraction process in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. Some color figures would have been nice, but the low cost of the book helps one overlook this.
Assessment: When comparing this with other books, it is important to note that this is a short, concise, introductory, low cost text specifically on nerve and muscle, not a comprehensive text on neuroscience or neurobiology. The topics are well chosen, discussed, and supported by experimental evidence. Other comparable small books include Katz's Nerve, Muscle and Synapse (McGraw-Hill, 1966) and Junge's Nerve and Muscle Excitation (Sinauer Associates, 1976). A comprehensive, highly focused text on ion channels is Hille's Ionic Channels of Excitable Membranes , 2nd edition (Sinauer Associates, 1992). "

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521737425
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard D. Keynes is Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of Cambridge.

David J. Aidley was Senior Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.

Christopher Huang is Professor of Cell Physiology at the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Structural organization of the nervous system; 2. Resting and action potentials; 3. The ionic permeability of the nerve membrane; 4. Membrane permeability changes during excitation; 5. Voltage-gated ion channels; 6. Cable theory and saltatory conduction; 7. Neuromuscular transmission; 8. Synaptic transmission in the nervous system; 9. The mechanism of contraction in skeletal muscle; 10. The activation of skeletal muscle; 11. Contractile function in skeletal muscle; 12. Cardiac muscle; 13. Smooth muscle; Further reading; References; Index.

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