Research Report: Molecular defect affects hearing

Sound starts as waves of mechanical vibrations that travel through the air to the ear by compressing air molecules. Upon reaching the cochlea of the inner ear, fluid pressure changes caused by sound vibration stimulate specialized hair cells to respond.

This contributes to mechanotransduction, the process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli into electrical signals to neurons in the brain, enabling us to hear.

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) report on the action of harmonin, one of three known proteins involved in mechanotransduction. The study also reports, for the first time, how a molecular defect can impair the opening of ion channels on the tips of inner-ear hair cells resulting in deafness. The study is published in the journal Neuron.

Fluorescent proteins do more than glow
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered a family of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in a primitive sea animal, along with new clues about the role of the proteins that has nothing to do with their famous glow.

Using a range of genetic analyses and techniques, researchers discovered that some GFPs, especially those with low fluorescence capacity, could have a defense function in the wild acting as an antioxidant, working to protect the animal in times of illness or stress. It’s the first evidence of the proteins being used in a role beyond glowing fluorescence. The discovery is described in the journal BioMed Central Evolutionary Biology.

Tone language is key to perfect pitch
Perfect or absolute pitch is defined as recognizing the pitch of a musical note without having to compare it to a reference note. The ability is rare in the U.S. and Europe, where only about one person in 10,000 is thought to have it. Musicians who speak an East Asian tone language fluently, however, are much more likely to have perfect pitch.

According to UCSD researcher Diana Deutsch, this ability probably is more the result of nurture than nature, more environment than genes, because many East Asian languages are “tonal,” in which a word’s meaning often depends on the tone in which it is said.
The finding suggests that perfect pitch might be available to virtually everyone, akin to learning a second language.

The study is published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and was presented this month at the society’s annual meeting.

Related posts:

  1. Research Roundup: Basic research gets financial boost from major grants
  2. SRI eliminating the controversy in stem cell research
  3. Research Report: Team links protein to cartilage degeneration
  4. Research Report: Discovery sheds light on mysterious glow of sea
  5. Research Report: Trial tests stem cell treatment for heart failure

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=6126

Posted by marylajolla on May 28, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

  • La Jolla Library welcomes new chief Shaun Briley
    For La Jolla Riford Library’s new head librarian, Shaun Briley, books have been a part of his life and career, in some form or another, every step of the way. […]
  • Tangerine trees, marmalade skies for Beatles-inspired Patrons of the Prado gala in Balboa Park, San Diego
    “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was the theme of the Patrons of the Prado gala on July 12, 2014 in Balboa Park, San Diego. Beatles-inspired music came from Wayne Foster Entertainment. Sandy Redman and Jeanne Jones served as event chairs. 2014’s beneficiaries are the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Museum of Art and The Old Globe Theatre. […]
  • La Jolla’s Best Bets for events July 31- Aug. 7
    Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) offers a crash course in starting a photography collection 6 p.m. Thursday Aug. 7. at the Ligne Roset Showroom, 7726 Girard Ave. MOPA assistant curator Chantel Paul and director of jdc Fine Art Jennifer DeCarlo will share professional insights. […]

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Rancho Santa Fe resident’s Gen 7 wines earn top honors
    Rancho Santa Fe resident Tim Bacino’s Gen 7 Wines is on a hot streak, his varietals winning several awards this summer in California wine competitions. […]
  • Torrey Pines High School baseball alum Taylor Murphy excelling in pro ball
    It was during a breakout senior year at Torrey Pines High that Taylor Murphy first popped up on the radar of professional scouts. Shortly after graduation, Murphy was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 40th round of the June 2011 amateur draft. He declined, honoring a commitment to the University of the Pacific. Three years later, Murphy got another sho […]
  • Why Hire a Licensed Landscape Professional?
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs The old saying – “if something seems to good to be true, it probable is” – is quite fitting when it comes to hiring a contractor for your home or yard construction project. While it is smart to shop around, get quotes, etc., don’t fall into the trap of trusting […]