Following are a selection of interesting news items from our field. This section will be updated on a continuous basis so check back often in between issues, to see what is new.

Bats Improve Chances of Finding Food by Eavesdropping on Each Other

Source: Discovery News

Bats eavesdrop on each other to improve their chances of finding prey, according to a study published in Current Biology. "When you sit in a dark cinema theater and someone opens a bag of chips, everyone in the theater knows that someone is eating chips and approximately where that someone is. Bats work similarly," said Yossi Yovel, the lead researcher.

Abbostford, BC Family Fined for Noisy Kids

Source: Yahoo News

Kathryn Mackenzie says she and her family are being forced out of their townhouse in Abbotsford, BC, because her children play too loudly.

The noise complaints started more than a year ago, when the Mackenzie family's downstairs neighbour wrote in an email that the children were "constantly running back and forth, and ...jumping and stomping all day long."

Read the full story:

Playing Musical Instruments Can Help Kids’ Brains

Source: Hearing Review

According to a recent study from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, learning to play the violin or piano might help kids’ brains by giving them some added benefits in key behavioral areas of the cortex. A team specializing in child psychiatry published a research article in the September 3, 2014 online edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, which showed that musical training might help kids focus their attention, control their emotions, and diminish their anxiety.

June Will Be One Second Longer Than Usual

Source: CBS News

An extra second will be added to the clock just after 23:59:59 on June 30, according to Universal Time officials at the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service. Leap seconds, introduced in 1972 to make up for Earth's speed variations, are occasionally added either at the end of December or June to correct tiny desynchronizations between International Atomic Time, or the weighted average of some 200 atomic clocks around the world, and Universal Time, based on Earth's rotation. The last time a leap second was added was at the end of June in 2012.

Could A Vitamin Supplement Prevent Hearing Loss?

Source: Medical News Today

Noise-induced hearing loss is associated with damaged synapses that connect the nerves and hair cells in the cochlea — a part of the inner ear. But a new mouse study suggests noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented with a simple chemical compound that protects the nerves that stimulate the cochlea.

Noise Pollution Harms Marine Mammals, Study Finds

Source: Hearing Review

Scientists have recognized that noise pollution in our oceans is harmful to marine mammals, affecting their ability to communicate, find mates, and hunt for food. A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleagues examined behavioral responses to sound by cuttlefish, a type of shell-less mollusk related to squid and octopi. Their study findings, published in the December 15, 2014 online edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology, can help decision makers and environmental managers better understand the impacts of noise in the ocean.

AARP Launches a Hearing Resource Cente

Source: Hearing Health Matters

AARP, a not-for-profit organization that works to improve quality-of-life for people over the age of 50, recently launched an online Hearing Resource Center. The electronic resource aims to provide tips, tools and other information to its nearly 38 million members regarding hearing health in hopes of encouraging people with hearing loss to seek help. Click here to read more about the center.

El Deafo’: How A Girl Turned Her Disability Into A Superpower

Source: WAER

Cece Bell, a writer and illustrator of children’s books, has released a new story called El Deafo. The book tells the tale of Bell’s own experience of growing up with a hearing impairment after becoming “severely to profoundly deaf” as a child, following a bout of meningitis. In an interview with NPR, Bell discusses how it took her a long time to come to terms with having a hearing impairment but how she sometimes felt like a superhero at school because of her Phonic Ear hearing aid, hence the book’s title. Read about Bell’s story and a transcript of the interview here; click here to listen to a recording of the interview.

Hearing Aids May Improve Balance

Source: Medical Xpress

A small study from the Washington University School of Medicine has found that patients with hearing aids performed better on balance tests when their hearing aids were turned on. It is the first study to demonstrate that our ability to hear contributes to our body’s stability, and supports the existing belief that seniors who are hard of hearing may be less likely to fall if they use a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

New How-To Multimedia Videos To Increase Hearing Aid

Source: Medical Xpress

A team of researchers, clinicians and experts from the National Institute of Health Research Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit and Health E-learning and Media team at the University of Nottingham have developed a C2Hear program, designed to educate new hearing aid users on how to make the most of their assistive devices. More than 30 hearing aid users were involved in the collaborative project, which features a 10 short multimedia how-to tutorials that are available to patients. The C2Hear program was rated as “highly useful” by more than three-quarters of users in a trial.