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.

Molecule Discovery May Help Advance Hearing Restoration

Source: The Hearing Review

A team of scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has identified a small molecule that inhibits the function of a “disordered” protein—p27—that helps to regulate cell division. The inhibition of this protein with small molecules may aid in the regeneration of sensory hair cells in the inner ear to restore hearing.

Stereotypes Around Aging Can Negatively Impact Memory and Hearing

Source: ScienceDaily

A new study shows that when older adults feel negatively about aging, they may lack confidence in their abilities to hear and remember things, and perform poorly at both.

Sign Language Santa Makes Deaf girl’s Dream Christmas Come True

Source: Mirror

This is the tear-jerking moment a little deaf girl sat on Santa's knee and began talking to him with sign language. The heart-warming footage could melt the coldest of hearts as Father Christmas immediately begins signing back to the youngster. As the child, who has not yet been named, sits down on the man's knee she begins beaming from ear-to-ear.

Protect Your Hearing at Work

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

PODCAST - Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses. This podcast features information from CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on how to protect yourself from work-related noise-induced hearing loss. Created: 11/9/2015 by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Date Released: 11/9/2015. Series Name: CDC Featured Podcasts.

Early Progress Reported in Designing Drugs That Target ‘Disordered’ Proteins

Source: ScienceDaily

Scientists capitalize on technological advances to lay the groundwork for drug development against 'disordered' proteins that play key roles in human health and disease. A small, drug-like molecule that inhibits the function of a "disordered" protein in research that may advance a novel approach to hearing restoration, they say.

How Cells in the Developing Ear ‘Practice’ Hearing

Source: ScienceDaily

Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers report they have figured out the molecular chain of events that enables the cells to make 'sounds' on their own, essentially 'practicing' their ability to process sounds in the world around them.

Sound Deprivation Leads to Irreversible Hearing Loss

Source: ScienceDaily

Sound deprivation in adult mice causes irreversible damage to the inner ear. The findings suggest that chronic conductive hearing loss, such as that caused by recurrent ear infections, leads to permanent hearing impairment if it remains untreated.

Music-Making for the Deaf

Source: ScienceDaily

A researcher is exploring new ways to enhance the experience of deaf musicians with new visual and touch techniques. Alongside vibrations, visual indictors will appear on a digital display that collectively form a 'sonic fingerprint' when an instrument is played, highlighting different components that make up the sound.

AES 139th International Convention Celebrates The Latest in Audio Engineering Technologies and Techniques

Source: Audio Engineering Society Tech News

“The 139th AES Convention was a success by every measure,” says Bob Moses, Executive Director of the AES. “From the amazing content and packed audiences of the technical and special events program, to an exhibits floor that was crowded with attendees, to the exhibitors and sponsors that participated, energy and excitement were everywhere. And the Empire State Building being lit in our colors – how awesome is that? The AES HQ staff and legions of volunteers – including leading professionals – poured their hearts into the Convention. Attendees of all types went home satisfied, and the AES itself benefits from their participation, ensuring the Society’s continued good health.”

Studies Uncover Hidden Brain Pathways of Communication

Source: The Hearing Review

New studies from Penn Medicine have uncovered hidden brain pathways of communication and clarified how crucial features of audition are managed by the brain. The researchers discovered how different neurons work together in the brain to reduce responses to frequent sounds, enhance responses to rare sounds, and recognize speech.