Purchase Solution

Rigor mortis

Not what you're looking for?

Ask Custom Question

1. After death, the muscles of the body become very stiff and inextensible. This phenomenon is referred to as rigor mortis, and the muscles are said to be in a state of rigor.

(a) Explain the biochemical basis of rigor mortis, in terms of the interaction of actin and myosin; ie, where in the contraction cycle is the muscle arrested?

(b) Would your muscles be likely to go into rigor faster if you were to die while racing to class, or while sitting in lecture? Explain.

Purchase this Solution

Solution Preview

Biochemical Basis of Rigor Mortis


When you die, oxidative phosphorylation comes to a halt once oxygen runs out in the cells. Therefore, ATP production stops and as a result, cellular processes requiring free energy stop.

Keep that in mind as we go.

In order to understand rigor mortis, we must understand the contraction cycle involving myosin and actin.

First, an action potential arrives at the neuromuscular junction, causing a wave of depolarization in the T-tubule system ...

Purchase this Solution

Free BrainMass Quizzes
Feeding Babies

Do you know the science behind feeding babies? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

Hemophilia: Fact or Fiction

Do you know the truth about hemophilia? Test your knowledge here.

Understanding the Musculoskeletal system

Introduce and understand basic information how the skeletal system and muscular system work in close concert with one another. And how their interaction between muscle and bone, as they work together to allow us movement.

Infant Development: Sleep

How much do you know about infant sleep? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

Breast Milk and Breastfeeding

How much do you know about breast milk and breastfeeding? Double check your knowledge level with this quiz!