Curated News: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

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Released: 19-Jul-2021 3:15 PM EDT
New High-Tech Portal Launched to Speed Hearing Loss Innovations
University of Maryland Medical Center

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) launched a new online tool that could more quickly advance medical discoveries to reverse progressive hearing loss. The tool enables easy access to genetic and other molecular data from hundreds of technical research studies involving hearing function and the ear.

Newswise: Recycling of the Eye’s Light Sensors Is Faulty in Progressive Blindness of Older Adults
22-Jun-2021 8:00 AM EDT
Recycling of the Eye’s Light Sensors Is Faulty in Progressive Blindness of Older Adults
University of Maryland School of Medicine

With the National Eye Institute reporting that about 11 million older adults in the U.S. endure a condition that leads to progressive blindness, known as age-related macular degeneration, University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers are starting to understand what goes wrong in the disease, in order to develop new therapies to treat it.

Newswise: Tug-of-War Receptors Controlling Sour Taste Detection in Fruit Flies Sheds Light on Human Taste Biology
Released: 17-Jun-2021 3:35 PM EDT
Tug-of-War Receptors Controlling Sour Taste Detection in Fruit Flies Sheds Light on Human Taste Biology
Monell Chemical Senses Center

Monell researchers found that flies use two distinct types of gustatory (taste) receptor neurons (GRNs), which are analogous to taste receptor cells in mammals, to discriminate slightly from highly sour foods. One group of GRNs are maximally activated by low acidity, while the other group responds to high acidity.

Newswise: No Lasting Benefit to Tubes Over Antibiotics for Childhood Ear Infections, Trial Shows
10-May-2021 3:20 PM EDT
No Lasting Benefit to Tubes Over Antibiotics for Childhood Ear Infections, Trial Shows
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

There is no long-term benefit to surgically placing tubes in a young child’s ears to reduce recurrent ear infections, compared with giving oral antibiotics, a randomized trial determined.

Released: 29-Mar-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Decoding smell
Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a loss of smell has emerged as one of the telltale signs of COVID-19.

Newswise: New NIH Grant Supports Innovative Approach to Cochlear Implant Surgery
Released: 24-Feb-2021 9:15 AM EST
New NIH Grant Supports Innovative Approach to Cochlear Implant Surgery
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was awarded a new five-year, $2 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) for “Application of Mild Therapeutic Hypothermia for Hearing Conservation During Cochlear Implant Surgeries.” It follows a pilot grant from the CTSI, a small business innovation grant from the National Institutes of Health, and industry funding to Dr. Suhrud Rajguru, Ph.D., associate professor at the Miller School of Medicine in biomedical engineering and otolaryngology, and his laboratory.

Newswise:Video Embedded implant-improves-balance-movement-and-quality-of-life-for-people-with-inner-ear-disorder
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Released: 11-Feb-2021 9:30 AM EST
Implant Improves Balance, Movement and Quality of Life for People with Inner Ear Disorder
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Getting around without the need to concentrate on every step is something most of us can take for granted because our inner ears drive reflexes that make maintaining balance automatic. However, for about 1.8 million adults worldwide with bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH) — loss of the inner ears’ sense of balance — walking requires constant attention to avoid a fall. Now, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have shown that they can facilitate walking, relieve dizziness and improve quality of life in patients with BVH by surgically implanting a stimulator that electrically bypasses malfunctioning areas of the inner ear and partially restores the sensation of balance.

Newswise: Behaviors Surrounding Oral Sex May Increase HPV-Related Cancer Risk
Released: 14-Jan-2021 10:10 AM EST
Behaviors Surrounding Oral Sex May Increase HPV-Related Cancer Risk
Johns Hopkins Medicine

A wide breadth of behaviors surrounding oral sex may affect the risk of oral HPV infection and of a virus-associated head and neck cancer that can be spread through this route, a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center suggests. These findings add nuance to the connection between oral sex and oropharyngeal cancer — tumors that occur in the mouth and throat — and could help inform research and public health efforts aimed at preventing this disease.

Released: 1-Oct-2020 8:40 AM EDT
Two molecular handshakes for hearing
Ohio State University

Scientists have mapped and simulated filaments in the inner ear at the atomic level, a discovery that shed lights on how the inner ear works and that could help researchers learn more about how and why people lose the ability to hear.

Newswise: Study Adds To Evidence That Odor-Sensing Cells In The Nose Are The Key Entry Point For Sars Cov-2
Released: 20-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Study Adds To Evidence That Odor-Sensing Cells In The Nose Are The Key Entry Point For Sars Cov-2
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine, experimenting with a small number of human cell samples, report that the “hook” of cells used by SARS-CoV-2 to latch onto and infect cells is up to 700 times more prevalent in the olfactory supporting cells lining the inside of the upper part of the nose than in the lining cells of the rest of the nose and windpipe that leads to the lungs. These supporting cells are necessary for the function/development of odor-sensing cells. The findings, from a preliminary study of cells lining both the nose and trachea, could advance the search for the best target for topical or local antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19, and offers further clues into why people with the virus sometimes lose their sense of smell.

Released: 16-Mar-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Researchers sniff out AI breakthroughs in mammal brains
Cornell University

New Cornell research explains some of these functions through a computer algorithm inspired by the mammalian olfactory system. The algorithm both sheds light on how the brain works and, applied to a computer chip, rapidly and reliably learns patterns better than existing machine learning models.

Released: 17-Dec-2019 2:15 PM EST
In Some Children with Autism, “Social” and “Visual” Neural Circuits Don’t Quite Connect
University of California San Diego Health

Researchers combined eye gaze research with brain scans to discover that in a common subtype of autism, in which ASD toddlers prefer images of geometric shapes over those of children playing, brain areas responsible for vision and attention are not controlled by social brain networks, and so social stimuli are ignored.

Newswise: Sentinels in the Mouth: Special Sensory Cells in the Gums Protect Against Periodontitis
2-Oct-2019 10:05 AM EDT
Sentinels in the Mouth: Special Sensory Cells in the Gums Protect Against Periodontitis
Monell Chemical Senses Center

Newly discovered chemical-sensing cells in the gums protect the mouth by standing guard against infections that damage soft tissue and destroy the bone that supports the teeth. With the help of bitter taste receptors that also detect byproducts from harmful bacteria, these special gum cells trigger the immune system to control the amount and type of bacteria in the mouth and could one day lead to personalized dental treatments against gum disease.


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