Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility

, Volume 29, Issue 6–8, pp 147–149 | Cite as

Recollections of the British muscle dining club, one origin of the European muscle congress

  • Gerald ElliottEmail author

The British muscle dining club was one of the precursors of the European muscle congress. Post-WWII muscle science in Britain originated in 1954 with two classic papers in a single issue of Nature, Huxley and Niedergerke (1954) and Huxley and Hanson (1954). These papers established the sliding-filament model for the contraction of striated muscle, in which the two major proteins in muscle (myosin and actin) are contained in separate thick and thin filaments. This happened also to be the year when I arrived in October at King’s College London as a demonstrator in physics and became effectively Jean Hanson’s first graduate student there. I had decided to study the applications of physics to biology the previous year, after reading about the Watson–Crick DNA structure while I was a final-year undergraduate in Oxford.

Many scientists who had been taken up with wartime activities had now returned to set up post-war laboratories and younger people like myself, who had been at school during...


Fumarate Tricarboxylic Acid Banner Thin Filament Nobel Laureate 
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  1. Huxley AF, Niedergerke R (1954) Interference microscopy of living muscle fibres. Nature 173:971–973. doi: 10.1038/173971a0 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Huxley HE, Hanson EJ (1954) Changes in the cross striaions of muscle during contractionand stretch and their structural interpretation. Nature 173:973–976. doi: 10.1038/173973a0 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hill AV (1970) First and last experiments in muscle mechanics. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Szent-Gyorgyi A (1953) Chemistry and physiology of contraction in body and heart muscle. Academic press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, John Radcliffe Hospital, West WingUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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