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RDM scientists develop new method that uses a marine coral protein to visualise calcium flow through heart muscle fibres.

The image shows (at x2000 magnification) a single heart muscle cell: the red calcium indicator lines up precisely between the green stripes, which mark where the muscles’ contractive machinery is anchored. In every heartbeat, the distance between the green bands (which are just 2 micrometres apart, or about 1/40 the thickness of a human hair) reduces by just 10%, so all heart muscle cells need to contract together to pump blood – normal calcium activity is essential for this synchronization (Image credit: Paul Robinson).

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