COPD Progression

New research could help build better hearing aids

Scientists at Binghamton University want to improve sensor technology critical to billions of devices made every year. With a three-year, $359,958 grant from the National Science Foundation, they will start by making a high-performance sensor and applying it to hearing aids.

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Diagnostic tests for sinus infections leave much to be desired, study says

Athens, Ga. — Many patients who see physicians for sinus infections expect to be prescribed an antibiotic, but for the majority of them, that course of treatment won't be effective because their infections aren't caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, there aren't great tools to determine which patients will or won't benefit from antibiotics, and the University of Georgia's Dr. Mark Ebell is determined to change that.

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Causative gene for sensorineural hearing loss identified

A causative gene for a highly common type of hearing loss (sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHL) has been identified by a group of Japanese researchers, who successfully replicated the condition using a transgenic mouse. This discovery could potentially be used to develop new treatments for hearing loss. The findings were published on October 5 in the online version of EMBO Molecular Medicine.

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Otolaryngology Researchers Develop New Approach to Improve Efficacy of Cochlear Implantation

A team of researchers in the Department of Otolaryngology led by Suhrud M. Rajguru, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering and otolaryngology, has developed a novel system for delivering therapeutic hypothermia locally to the inner ear in an animal model to conserve residual hearing following cochlear implant surgical trauma. Their approach has the potential to ensure that the sensory structures in the cochlea are left undamaged, enabling patients to benefit from future technologies and therapies.

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Miller School Researchers Identify Gene Essential to Normal Inner Ear Development

A Miller School of Medicine research team led by Mustafa Tekin, M.D., a professor in the Dr. John T. MacDonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics who has been exploring the genetics of deafness for more than a decade, has identified a previously unrecognized gene, ROR1 (receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1), that is essential for the development of the inner ear and hearing in humans and mice. Their findings were recently published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

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Unique laser navigator helps visually impaired

A laser navigator that complements the white cane and helps visually impaired people to orientate themselves. In Daniel Innala Ahlmark’s doctoral thesis in Industrial Electronics, he presents a unique solution to how visually impaired can find and experience direction and distance to objects in the environment.

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VCU Health expert discusses the causes of hearing loss and ways to prevent it

The inner ear is no larger than a pencil eraser in circumference and the bones in your ear are the smallest bones in the human body. “They could all fit together on a penny,” said Christine Eubanks, Ph.D., of the VCU Health Department of Audiology. Yet, despite its small size, the ear and hearing plays a large role in social interactions, comprehension and even balance.

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Neglecting your hearing will decrease quality of life.

Hearing loss, while technically not life threatening, does threaten quality of life. The Garvan Research Foundation is using NSW Seniors Festival (1-10 April, 2016) to remind people, of all ages, to prioritise their hearing, as any hearing damage cannot be reversed.

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New Program Could Improve Hearing Aid Use for Older Adults

Natural selection results in protein sequences that are only soluble to the level that is required to carry out its physiological function. However, in biotechnological applications, we need these proteins to survive concentrations that are up to 1000-fold higher that what naturally occurs, e.g. an antibody drug in the syringe prior to injection.

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Low Sugar Diet: Foods Taste Sweeter But No Change in Preferred Level of Sweetness

PHILADELPHIA – A new study from scientists at the Monell Center and collaborators reveals that while foods such as vanilla pudding taste sweeter following three months on a low-sugar diet, the level of sweetness most preferred in foods and beverages does not change. The findings may inform public health efforts to reduce the amount of added sugars that people consume in their diets.

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Understanding Ancient Human Ear-Orienting System Could Yield Clues to Emotions, Hearing Deficits in Infants

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Vestigial organs, such as the wisdom teeth in humans, are those that have become functionless through the course of evolution. Now, a psychologist at the University of Missouri studying vestigial muscles behind the ears in humans has determined that ancient neural circuits responsible for moving the ears, still may be responsive to sounds that attract our attention. Neuroscientists studying auditory function could use these ancient muscles to study positive emotions and infant hearing deficits.

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Babies need free tongue movement to decipher speech sounds

Inhibiting infants’ tongue movements impedes their ability to distinguish between speech sounds, researchers with the University of British Columbia have found. The study is the first to discover a direct link between infants’ oral-motor movements and auditory speech perception.