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This gadget looks like a precursor to the devices medical officers use to scan patients in science fiction, and it is not far off. The MyotonPRO tests muscle tension and stiffness.
The device is being used on the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. Part of the Myotones experiment, Alexander is using the smart-phone-sized device to investigate the human resting muscle tone system.
Default - Muscles - Movements - Muscles - Balance
By default, our muscles are always slightly contracted. This is how we maintain posture and respond quickly to sudden movements. Our muscles reflexively tense to maintain balance and reduce damage when unexpectedly pulled or stretched. Muscle tension and stiffness are also good indicators of flexibility, strength, and general health.
Of course, our muscles evolved to do this on Earth. In weightlessness, muscles lose functionality and mass. This phenomenon is well studied, and astronauts exercise for approximately two hours a day to prevent muscle wasting away.
Myotones - Experiment - Muscle - Tone - Researchers
The Myotones experiment is focusing on resting muscle tone, about which researchers know much less. Sponsored by ESA, German Aerospace Center DLR and the UK Space Agency, the experiment is...
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