Studying mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified two signaling molecules that are required for the proper development of a part of the inner ear called the cochlea. The study contributes to the understanding of inner ear development, a first step toward the goal of being able to recover lost hearing.
Dolphins, whales and porpoises have extraordinarily small balance organs, and scientists have long wondered why. In a head to head comparison of two dolphins and a rodeo bull, Washington University School of Medicine researchers have contradicted the leading explanation for these undersized organs and left the door open for new theories.
Robert Morley & Ed Richter investigated static electricity buildup from sliding down a plastic slide, which can temporarily silence the world to cochlear implantees.
Courtesy image/WUSTL PhotoFor some deaf children, a plastic slide is a more formidable foe than the school wedgie-giver. Static electricity buildup from sliding down a plastic slide — instant summertime fun for those with normal hearing — can temporarily silence the world to cochlear implantees. Two electrical engineers at Washington University in St. Louis tested static electricity buildup — which can zap a cochlear implant — on sliding children to quantify the sparks. Thanks to some publicity and increased awareness, their research has inspired the St. Louis County Parks and Recreation Department to consider the problem, and an anti-static coating company to try to solve it. More…