Understanding sacomeres, functional differences between skeletal and cardiac muscles, and muscle contraction in the human body. Complete with a diagram of a sacomere.

What is a sarcomere?

What are some functional differences between skeletal and cardiac muscles?

What happens within the muscle fibers to cause a muscle to contract?

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...the myosin pulls on the actin filaments in the I bands, it pulls the z-disks closer together, shrinking the overall length of the sarcomere. I've attached a figure illustrating this taken from Lodish et al, Molecular Cell Biology 3e, 1996.
<br>A contraction of a muscle fibre is triggered by an increase in the Calcium concentration. In muscle cells, calcium is kept inside the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). It is constantly pumped into the SR from the cytoplasm by ATP-dependent pumps. When a nerve impulse reaches the muscle cell, the depolarization of the membrane (the electrical signal of the nerve) continues along the membrane of the muscle ...