alive and at work

I am alive. I am also very sore and tired. It's amazing what a few days of fever will do to you. Sitting down I feel fairly normal, but just walking up some stairs can tire me out a bit. And I've still got a lot of muscle ache from that fever. C'est la Vie.

No doubt I should be back to normal in a few days. And since I was talking about sore muscles, that reminds me of a page in Wikipedia I was reading a few days ago regarding Rigor Mortis (I was reading it due to that post about opisthotonus a few days ago). This is the passage I mean:

Rigor mortis is very important in meat technology. The onset of rigor mortis and its resolution partially determines the tenderness of meat. If the post-slaughter meat is immediately chilled to 15°C, a phenomenon known as cold shortening occurs, where the muscle shrinks to a third of its original size. This will lead to the loss of water from the meat along with many of the vitamins, minerals, and water soluble proteins. The loss of water makes the meat hard and interferes with the manufacturing of several meat products like cutlet and sausage.

Cold shortening is caused by the release of stored calcium ions from the sarcoplasmic reticulum of muscle fibers in response to the cold stimulus. The calcium ions trigger powerful muscle contraction aided by ATP molecules. To prevent cold shortening, a process known as electrical stimulation is carried out, especially in beef carcass, immediately after slaughter and flaying. In this process, the carcass is stimulated with alternating current, causing it to contract and relax, which depletes the ATP reserve from the carcass and prevents cold shortening.


Now I'm not claiming that my muscles feel like they've had electric shocks applied to them like that meat mentioned above, but I sure don't feel much ATP reserve left in them either.

Did you realize how much nasty stuff they did to meat before it hits our tables? I'm not sure if I'm impressed or revolted!

That's a molecule of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) over there to the left. Those phosphate groups on the left are pretty amazing. That's how we store energy in our cells. Less efficient ways exist to store chemical energy, but we'd be moving a whole lot slower if we had to use them. The adenosince phosphates are amazingly efficient. Something to think about next time you ponder the intricate details of the Kreb's Cycle or just good ole glycolysis, AKA anaerobic respiration.

Comments

SassyAssy said…
Well, I just cannot bring myself to dive into this blog entry....weak stomach....so your fever lasted all weekend? And it caused all your muscles to be sore? Methinks we are not getting a true read on your weekend plans ;)
Into the Light said…
I can't say that I follow how your sore muscles correlate to meat production. I think I'm missing something here. Are you saying you wish you could be electrocuted so to relieve your muscle ache and be more tender?

Though I got the abbreviated version, my butcher actually took me through the process of how my meat was being processed. It was more than I wanted to know, but was interesting.
Bob-kat said…
Gosh, all my A Level biology cmae flooding back! It is pretty amazing how cells store adn relese energy.

Hope those muscles of yours feel better soon. Post fever aches and pains are awful.
srp said…
Sore muscles... lactic acid build up.
Kreb's cycle ----- Arrrrrrgh!
Specifics of the meat industry.... well, I think I would rather not know.

Glad you are feeling better!
rosemary said…
Ugg the Kreb's cycle...one of the many headaches in college.
Michael Manning said…
ATP: Whew! That brings it all back from Biology Class 8 years ago!
Nancy said…
I swear I am going to become a Vegan! The thinks we do to meat are disgusting.

On another note, I am so glad you feeling better!

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