Richard L. Hall
rhall at webmail.uvi.edu
Wed Sep 20 12:28:54 EST 2000
Sure. Ion diffusion carries electrical charge and current moves with
the net diffusion of positive charges. Ion channels are important
because they regulate current flow in and out of a cell. Ion
channels are not needed for current spread throughout body fluids
which is why a strong electrical shock can stop your heart.
Electricity in the body is generated by the net movement of ions
between the intracellular and extracellular compartment. Typically
asymmetries in ionic distributions create gradients for ionic
diffusion and current flow. Muscle activity directly generates more
current flow through the ecf than neural activity. This is why it is
easy to measure the electrocardiogram. It is possible to measure
cortical electroencephalograms but the magnitudes are smaller and the
>In reponse to a message already deleted...
>Can currents through ion channels be termed electric? Why not? I don't
>think electrons have to be involved do they? What about the poor old
>electric fish with electric organs? Isn't their "electricity" generated
>via ion channels? Ionic current is more appropriate though, I must admit.
>Gary G Wilson
>Center for Molecular Recognition
Richard L. Hall, Ph.D.
Comparative Animal Physiologist
University of the Virgin Islands
2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. 00802
rhall at uvi.edu
"Live life on the edge...the view is always better" rlh
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