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During the past 25 years a detailed and convincing explanation of the action potential of nerves has been developed. Such action potentials arise from a flow of sodium and potassium ions made possible by time- and voltage-dependent changes in the permeability of the cell membrane to those ions. The reservoir of energy for this process consists of the differences of concentration of those ions in the intra- and extra-cellular spaces, differences ultimately traceable to metabolically dependent "ion pumps."
For some 15 years many investigators have attempted to arrive at a similarly comprehensive understanding of the action potential of cardiac cells,
The Initiation of the Heartbeat.. Ann Intern Med. 1975;83:915–916. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-83-6-915_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(6):915-916.
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