Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Sea Anemone Proteins Could Help Fix Damaged Hearing

By Ashley P. Taylor, Live Science Contributor | August 22, 2016 11:02am ET

When it comes to creatures with keen hearing ability, sea anemones are not at the top of the list. Nonetheless, new research suggests that certain proteins that help these animals repair their feathery tentacles could also eventually be used to help repair damage to cells within a mammal's inner ear.

The finding comes from a study done in mice and could be an early step toward finding a treatment for people with hearing loss, the researchers said. 

In mammals, including humans, sound is translated from vibrations in the air into nerve signals that can be sent to the brain by highly specialized cells called hair cells. These are found within the cochlea, a fluid-filled structure of the inner ear. Damage to these hair cells, which can be caused by exposure to loud noise, can result in hearing loss, and mammals are not able to repair hair cells once they are harmed.

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