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Latest Semicircular canal Stories

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2010-03-25 07:46:16

Dolphins, whales and porpoises have extraordinarily small balance organs, and scientists have long wondered why. Now a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has contradicted a leading theory, which held that the animals moved their heads so vigorously that they had to have smaller, less responsive balance organs to avoid overwhelming their senses. Working with a Midwestern zoo and a local rancher, the researchers, led by Timothy E. Hullar, MD, a Washington University...

2010-02-09 08:19:44

The phrase "perk up your ears" made more sense last year after scientists discovered how the quietest sounds are amplified in the cochlea before being transmitted to the brain. When a sound is barely audible, extremely sensitive inner-ear "hair cells""”which are neurons equipped with tiny, sensory hairs on their surface"”pump up the sound by their very motion and mechanically amplify it. Richard Rabbitt of the University of Utah, a faculty member in the MBL's Biology of the Inner...