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The Resting Potential HTML5

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Summary

This animation presents the experimental setup that enables the recording of the resting membrane potential as well as the origin of this potential.

Learning goals

  • To understand the experimental setup used to record the resting membrane potential.
  • To understand the idea of potential difference.
  • To understand that this potential difference is the result of a disequilibrium among ions on the interior and exterior of the cell.
  • To understand how the resting potential is actively maintained by the nerve cell.
  • To understand the central role of the Na+-K+-ATPase pump in maintaining this ionic disequilibrium.
  • To clarify the role of ATP in nerve cell function

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The recording of the membrane resting potential requires :

  • A segment of the giant axon of a squid,  as this material for study is easy to obtain and, given its size, also easy to manipulate.…

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