Of the approximately 640 muscles in the human body, over 10% of them are found in the craniofacial region. The craniofacial muscles are involved in a number ofcrucial non-locomotor activities, and are critical to the most basic functions of life, including vision, taste, chewing and food manipulation, swallowing, respiration, speech, as well as regulating facial expression and controlling facial aperture patency. Despite their importance, the biology of these small skeletal muscles is relatively unexplored. Only recently have we begun to understand their unique embryonic development and the genes that control it and characteristic features that separate them from the skeletal muscle stereotype.This book is the most comprehensive reference to date on craniofacial muscle development, structure, function, and disease. It details the state-of-the-art basic science of the craniofacial muscles, and describes their unique response to major neuromuscular conditions. Most importantly, the text highlights how the craniofacial muscles are different from most skeletal muscles, and why they have been viewed as a distinct allotype. In addition, the text points to major gaps in our knowledge about these very important skeletal muscles and identified key gaps in our knowledge and areas primed for further study and discovery.
The Leverhulme Trust (UK) required Charles Oxnard to present a series of public lectures during his tenure of a Leverhulme Professorship at University College, London. The lectures had to be understandable not only to undergraduate and graduate students and colleagues, but also to the interested lay public. Furthermore, they were expected to meet and venture beyond present-day thought in the subject. This near-impossible task is reproduced in this unique volume.Each chapter shows what is rarely, if ever, done in scientific papers: how the problems truly arose; how the methods came about; the curious collaborators involved; the twists and turns of thought involved in the stories; the solutions that have so far appeared; and the surprising new ideas that stem from the work. In particular, the part played by serendipity becomes ever more evident. Research is very often a kind of "Alice-in-Wonderland" task, and both students and the public alike are fascinated by the inside stories of how discoveries are really made. It is precisely this excitement and complexity that is presented in this book.