Mi weekly selection #137

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Mice regain some hearing after gene therapy

Researchers were able to partially repair hearing loss in mice using gene therapy, according to a study. The mice were either missing the gene TMC1, responsible for a protein required for proper inner ear hair cell functioning, or it had mutated, and scientists introduced a normal copy of either TMC1 or TMC2 into their inner ears. The study reported that about half of the mice responded to loud noises about a month after treatment.

The Scientist

Blood protein tied to increased memory dysfunction

A study with mice found that elevation of B2-microglobulin protein that circulate in the blood was associated with age-related mental decline. Animal models experienced less memory dysfunction after researchers remove its B2M protein.

C&EN

Opals may hold key to finding proof of life on Mars

Researchers looking at traces of opal in a Martian meteorite found on Earth long ago say the gemstone may help them find evidence of life on the red planet. Opal is often present near hot springs, which teem with microbial life that can become preserved in the deposits.

NBC

Nanoscale Device Amplifies Fiber-Optic Signals

Researchers have demonstrated an amplifier for near-infrared light that is 20 times more powerful than previous devices and small enough to fit on an integrated circuit.

Physics

Bonobos exhibit ability to use, adapt tools

Researchers showed bonobos at a German zoo and an Iowa sanctuary various problems that needed tools to solve, and many used tools, such as sticks and rocks, some almost immediately.

New Scientist

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