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Human Electricity

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Without electricity, you would not be reading this article right now, not only because your computer would not be working, but also your brain and heart. Humans communicate, move around, and employ their five senses by means of electricity generated within their bodies. The electrical signals are transported through bio-electrical cables, known as nerves, which are parts of our nervous system extending from the brain and spinal cord to all parts of the body.

The nervous system serves as the body control center and communication electrical-chemical wiring network. It is a complex collection of nerves and specialized cells known as “neurons” that transmit signals between different parts of the body. The nervous system integrates countless bits of information and generates appropriate reactions by sending electrochemical impulses through nerves to effector organs, such as muscles and glands.

Neurons carry messages in the form of electrical signals known as “nerve impulses” which travel along the axon of the neuron. The task of most neurons is to receive signals from neighboring neurons, then transmit them on to another adjacent one. Neurons communicate with one another, carrying out thousands of these processes every second.

The brain, the body’s command center, is the super highway of electrical signals. It processes and delivers millions of messages to the entire infrastructure of the human body every second. At any given time, the human brain produces enough electrical current to power a 15–20 watt light bulb. For example, when you want to hold a book using your hands, the nervous system sends signals to the brain to tell your hands to hold the book.

The heart also requires electricity in order to function. That is the reason why doctors apply electric shocks to patients whose hearts have stopped. In such a situation, no drugs or vitamins can cure the patient. Electrical energy helps the heart transport blood and all the vital materials to the organs and cells. The electric activity starts at the top of the heart and spreads down. A normal heart beat is initiated by a small pulse of electric current which spreads rapidly in the heart and makes the heart muscle contract. The heart beat pumps blood throughout the body.

In the heart, there are cells specialized in producing electricity, which are known as pacemaker cells. The normal trigger for the heart to contract arises from the heart’s natural pacemaker, the Sinoatrial node (SA node) which sends out regular electrical impulses where the atria is activated. The electrical impulses travel through the conduction pathways, similar to the way electricity flows through power lines from power plant to our houses, and here the heart’s ventricle contracts and pumps blood to the lungs and the body; each contraction of the ventricle is considered a heartbeat. The electrical activity of the heart can be detected by doing an Electrocardiogram (ECG). In a healthy heart, the SA node normally produces 60–100 electrical signals per minute; which is the normal heart rate or pulse.

 

Electricity is generated in our body with natural electric generators; our body resembles the design of an electrical system; the brain functions like a perfect computer; the nerves function like electrical wires and establish connections between the spinal cord and the brain to the whole body.

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