Around 5% of all people over the age of 50 have what is called golden ears. This means that they can hear the full range of frequencies detectable by the human ear (roughly 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz). Most people lose some of their hearing with age. Now the reason for golden ears is being studied.
American researchers at the University of Rochester have studied the hearing of mice as they grow older. For a while now they have studied a mouse line known as CBA, which gradually loses its ability to hear high frequency sounds as it ages, just like in humans.
The CBA mice do however not breed very well, so the lead researcher, Frisina, decided to cross them with a more virile strain known as C57 Black 6. The C57 mice are known for their poor hearing but, much to Frisina's surprise, the resulting offspring not only bred better than the original CBA line, they also retained exceptional hearing into old age.
He believes that the mice from his new mouse line are the rodent equivalents of golden ear humans and he has the experimental results to back him up.
In the brain rather than the ear
In this way the scientists have inadvertently created an animal model for studying the age-related hearing problems that occur in the brain rather than the ear.
Frisina would now like to identify the genetic factors responsible for the golden ear phenomenon. A better understanding of how age-related changes in the brain stem and cortex contribute to hearing loss could lead to more effective hearing devices or even pharmaceutical treatments.
Por favor use nossos artigos
Você será sempre bem vindo para indicar ou usar nossos artigos. A única restrição é que você forneça um link direto para o artigo específico que usar na página que nos citou/indicou.
Você não poderá, Infelizmente, usar nossas fotos, uma vez que nós não temos copyright delas, mas temos o direito de usá-las em nossa website