Technology Scientists genetically modified gerbils to hear light through an implant

20:06  12 july  2018
20:06  12 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Scientists Are Hunting for Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington

  Scientists Are Hunting for Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington In March, a meteorite crashed into the ocean a few miles off the coast of Washington, and scientists want it.Finding meteor fragments scattered on the seafloor might seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but the scientists participating in this hunt have a few advantages. For one, meteorite fragments tend to be almost black, making them easier to pick out against the lighter-colored seafloor.

Genetically modified gerbils . But a light -based cochlear implant could be much more sensitive — “[it] would get closer to touch individual steps as acoustic hearing does for soft sounds.”

A genetically modified organism ( GMO ) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism).

  Scientists genetically modified gerbils to hear light through an implant © Provided by The Next Web

A team of German scientists recently developed a spectacular new cochlear implant that uses light to simulate sound. So far it’s only been tested on gerbils, but the results are promising.

Cochlear implants are a decades-old invention that uses electricity to stimulate or bypass deadened auditory nerves in order to trick the brain into “hearing” something. Many people who suffer hearing loss use these implants to restore at least some of their ability to experience sounds.

The problem with the traditional cochlear implant is that electricity isn’t as nuanced as audio waves, which makes it a relatively poor replacement. Light, on the other hand, seems to work just fine.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft just got closer to dwarf planet Ceres than ever before, and here’s what it looks like

  NASA’s Dawn spacecraft just got closer to dwarf planet Ceres than ever before, and here’s what it looks like NASA's Dawn spacecraft is one that we don't hear from very often these days, mainly because it spent seven years on its way to dwarf planet Ceres and it's been (very) slowly getting closer to the object ever since it arrived in 2015. The spacecraft has already delivered some interesting views of Ceres, but the latest batch of photos are its best and most detailed yet.The images are incredibly detailed thanks to the extremely low orbit of Dawn at the time the photos were snapped. They show some of Ceres most interesting features, including large craters and a few geographical oddities that thus far remain unexplained.

Now, Shir Zer-Krispil, from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, has developed perhaps the greatest technique of all: She genetically engineered flies to automatically ejaculate whenever they walk under red light .

body's tanning pigment melanin in the genetically modified cells. However, for those who would prefer not to deal with the constant stress, an implant can also be used that develops a mark visible only under a red light . Scientists Learn More About Rare Skin Cancer That Killed Bob Marley.

Tobias Moser, one of the authors on the study, told Futurism:

The optical cochlear implant should provide a fundamental advance of hearing restoration towards more natural hearing. Since light can be better confined than electrical current, the number of independent frequency channels is expected to be greater in the optical CI. This, we think, will provide more frequency resolution of sound coding enabling the user to better separate similar sounds, understand speech in the noise, and appreciate melodies.

In order to make the device work, the team genetically modified the gerbils by injecting a gene directly into their inner ear, using a specialty virus to deliver it. The gene altered the animals’ neuronal receptivity so that their cochlear nerves could process the signals produced by light as though they were sound.

National Zoo's giant panda experiencing "pseudopregnancy," zoo says

  National Zoo's giant panda experiencing Despite Mei Xiang acting like she was pregnant, a final ultrasound on July 5 confirmed she was not carrying any new cubs .

Scientists are criticizing a study that said laboratory rats developed tumors after they ate genetically modified corn. The research appears in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and includes pictures of rats with large tumors.

Scientists in the UK will be allowed to genetically modify human embryos for the first time in history, after they received a licence to go ahead with groundbreaking research into the early stages of human life. It remains illegal for the scientists to implant the altered embryos into women, but the decision

The gerbils were previously trained to jump over an obstacle when they heard an audio alarm. To determine the effectiveness of the new light-emitting cochlear implants, the team used them to stimulate the gerbil’s auditory nerves in a simulation of the alarm sound. According to the researchers’ white paper, it was a success. The gerbils responded to the light by jumping over the obstacles the same as if they were hearing the alarm sound.

The researchers are optimistic their research could lay the ground work for more responsive and better sounding cochlear implants, but they also acknowledge this is early stage research still in the “proof of concept” stage.

It could be a long time before these kinds of implants are ready for human trials, but the promise of a better tool in the fight against hearing loss already sounds pretty good.

Scientists Find 'Quadrillions' of Tons of Diamonds Beneath Earth's Surface .
Unfortunately, the diamonds are buried so deep we'll probably never mine them.To discover what lies beneath the surface, scientists can’t simply look with their eyes. Instead, they use sound waves and listen. Unlike light, sound can travel through solid rock, and by listening closely scientists can learn a great deal about what the inside of the Earth is like.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!