Biologists and biomedical engineers are proposing to define the term "yank" for changes in force overtime, something that our muscles and nerves can feel and respond to.

  • Their ideas were published on September 12 in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
What was the need for the new term? Yank
  • Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity (or speed) with respect to time.
  • In other words, acceleration is the time derivative of speed or velocity
  • And the time derivative of acceleration is “jerk”.
  • After that the time derivatives after jerk is described by the words, “snap”, “crackle” and “pop” for each successive derivative.
  • Likewise, Force is a push or pull upon an object resulting from the object's interaction with another object.
  • Force is measured in units of mass times acceleration.
  • But the problem is that unlike velocity and acceleration, time derivatives for force have never been defined till now.
  • That is why a new term ‘Yank’ has been proposed to fill the empty spot.
  • ‘Yank’ could be useful in understanding spasticity, a common muscle impairment in multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke, and cerebral palsy.
  • Yank can also prove to be useful in the study of activities like jumping, sprinting, capturing prey and maintaining balance, etc.
  • It is similarly useful in analyzing the behavior of muscles and tendons, sensory feedback and spinal reflexes, all the way down to the contributions of individual cells.
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