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Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. Calcium "sparks" are small, intense bursts of calcium that occur in cells from cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, and, as shown in a paper in this issue of Science by Nelson et al. (p. 633), smooth muscle. As discussed by F. Fay, these sparks are of particular interest because in smooth muscle they have a unique and unexpected function: They control vasodilation in small arteries of the brain.

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      Keywords:

      NSDL,NSDL_SetSpec_BEN,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20110722030005205T,calcium,smooth muscle cells,Life Science,spontaneous transient outward (hyperpolarizing) currents (STOCs),ryanodine receptors

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      English

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