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From my understanding, the brain sends electrical pulses through neurons to different part of the body to initiate a movement. My question is, how is the movement realized? For example, in a train, steam engine is used to convert heat energy to mechanical energy to move the engine. Similarly, in the body, I understand the energy is stored in chemical form. How is this converted to the mechanical motion of a body part?

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! This is a very basic question and thus appears to meet this sites criteria for a homework question. In these situations we expect you to do some research on your own and then, informed by what you have learned, ask any questions you might still have (ideally with references to reliable sources). ——— Please also take the time to take the tour and then go through the help pages starting with How to Ask questions effectively on this site. Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Nov 8 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ I do not work in Biology and I'm long out of school,so it is not a homework question. When I searched the above, I didn't get any insight into how the conversions work.Perhaps I didn't use the proper terms involved. My doubts were clarified with Joce's answer. $\endgroup$ – Analon92 Nov 9 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ Questions don't have to be homework assigned for a class to be considered homework on this site — if you wish to understand how this site works please consult the links I provided in my original comment. If you are interested in brushing up on the basics of biology (or any other subject — they helped me relearn calculus) I recommend Khan Academy. $\endgroup$ – tyersome Nov 9 at 17:55
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The conversion from chemical to mechanical energy is in general done by molecular motors which perform a power-stroke, using the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or more rarely of GTP to power a change of their conformation while bound to cytoskeletal elements.

Molecular motors include myosins, which is the molecular family powering muscles in interaction with actin filaments but also other cells e.g. for their motility or for morphogenesis. animation of muscle contraction

There are also kinesins and dyneins, not used for muscle function, but which perform e.g. transport of "cargo" organelles along microtubules.

An alternative way to produce mechanical energy is via ion pumps, as is the case in flagellar rotors.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Joce, your answer is exactly what I was looking for. I mentioned brain and neurons only to clarify that I had an idea about how those are involved, but that was not what I wanted to be answered. I thought it would be pretty clear. Sorry for the misunderstanding. $\endgroup$ – Analon92 Nov 9 at 15:02

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