Groundbreaking cochlear implant lets deaf gerbils hear light

Mail Online | 7/12/2018 | Cheyenne Macdonald For
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Scientists have developed a new type of cochlear implant that allows deaf gerbils to hear light.

The breakthrough technique aims to activate key neurons that have been manipulated to respond to light.

Experiments - Researchers - Gerbils - Light - Obstacle

In the experiments, researchers showed the implanted gerbils were successfully stimulated by a blue light, which prompted them to jump over an obstacle like they had when previously trained to do so in response to an alarm.

According to the team from University Medical Center Gottingen, Germany, this could eventually pave the way for light-based implants in humans, too.

Study - Science - Translational - Medicine - Team

In the new study published to Science Translational Medicine, the team equipped adult gerbils with a light-sensitive protein by injecting a virus known to carry the gene into their cochlea.

Gerbils, the researchers explain, have larger cochlea than other rodents and can sense lower frequencies than a human.

Team - Cochlear - Implant - Gerbils - Technology

The team also designed a light-based cochlear implant, and fitted the gerbils with the technology.

The gerbils were first trained to jump over an obstacle after hearing an alarm.

Then, they...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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