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Latest Sense Stories

2011-11-21 23:12:05

Gene-therapy trial will attempt to restore hearing in deaf mice Researchers have found long-sought genes in the sensory hair cells of the inner ear that, when mutated, prevent sound waves from being converted to electric signals — a fundamental first step in hearing. The team, co-led by Jeffrey Holt, PhD, in the department of otolaryngology at Children´s Hospital Boston, and Andrew Griffith, MD, PhD, of the NIH´s National Institute on Deafness and other Communication...

2011-08-29 20:39:55

The latest Perspectives in General Physiology series examines the mechanisms of visual, aural, olfactory, and tactile processes that inform us about the environment. The series appears in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of General Physiology (www.jgp.org). Everything that mammals perceive about the environment is based on the transmission to the brain of signals originating in sensory organs such as the eye, ear, nose, and skin. As described by UCLA researchers Robert Farley and...

2011-08-03 12:18:39

Protein inside taste cells turn off bitter taste New findings may lend insight into why some people are especially sensitive to bitter tastes. Scientists from the Monell Center and Givaudan Flavors have identified a protein inside of taste cells that acts to shorten bitter taste signals. They further report that mice lacking the gene for this taste terminator protein are more sensitive to bitter taste and also find it more aversive, possibly because they experience the taste for a longer...

2011-06-29 12:33:01

Rodent olfaction and the chemistry of instinct The mechanics of instinctive behavior are mysterious. Even something as simple as the question of how a mouse can use its powerful sense of smell to detect and evade predators, including species it has never met before, has been almost totally unknown at the molecular level until now. David Ferrero and Stephen Liberles, neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School, have discovered a single compound found in high concentrations in the urine of...

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2011-06-22 06:05:00

Research published this week in the journal Nature Communications shows that a light-sensitive protein found in the human eye can act as a "compass" in the magnetic field when implanted into the eyes of Drosophila (flies). The study showed that without their natural "magneto reception" protein, flies do not respond to a magnetic field. But after replacing the protein with a human version of the protein, their ability was restored. For migratory birds and some other animals, the ability to...

2011-06-21 18:34:17

A team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have uncovered a novel mechanism regulating gene expression and transcription linked to Spinocerebellar ataxia 7, an inherited neurological disorder. The discovery promises to have broad ramifications, suggesting that abundant non-coding transcripts of ribonucleic acid (RNA) may be key players in neurological development and function, and could be powerful targets for future clinical...

2011-06-16 21:16:16

By taking advantage of a "body swap" illusion, researchers have captured the brain regions involved in one of the most fundamental aspects of self-awareness: how we recognize our bodies as our own, distinct from others and from the outside world. That self-perception is traced to specialized multisensory neurons in various parts of the brain that integrate different sensory inputs across all body parts into a unified view of the body. The findings, reported online on June 16 in Current...


Word of the Day
baudekin
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.
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