Pardon? http://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/high-tech-hope-for-the-hard-of-hearing Like sensitive electronic equipment, ears can be easy hurt but also easily enhanced technologically
Damage to hair cells or to the nerve synapses they’re attached to is the most common source of hearing loss. Aging and noise are the leading causes; among the others are the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, the aminoglycoside family of antibiotics, and various autoimmune diseases, including the one that deafened (but didn’t silence) Rush Limbaugh. Corey showed me another electron micrograph, from the ear of a mouse that had been exposed for two hours to sound as intense as that experienced by someone using a chainsaw. The cilia looked like tree trunks thrown around by a tornado.
Hair cells can recover if a noise isn’t too loud and doesn’t last too long, but permanent injuries accumulate. A widely cited damage threshold for sustained exposure is eighty-five or ninety decibels. (The human hearing range is so wide that it has to be described logarithmically to keep the numbers from becoming unmanageable: every ten-decibel increase represents a tenfold increase in sound energy.) An unsettling number of everyday activities lie at or above the danger line, including lawn-mowing, motorcycle-riding, rock-concert-going, Shop-Vac-ing, milkshake-making, subway-riding, and power-tool-using. “Most carpenters have lost a lot of hearing by the time they’re fifty,” Corey said. “I’m sometimes around construction sites, and I often pass out ear protection.”
How the New York Times Is Using Strategies Inspired by Netflix, Spotify, and HBO to Make Itself Indispensible | WIREDApril 26, 2017
How…the @NYTimes Is Clawing Its Way into the Future
https://www.Wired.com/2017/02/new-york-times-digital-journalism/ Digitizing a traditional company w. a recalcitrant culture
How The New York Times Is Clawing Its Way into the Future
Family owned (and run) business, calcified culture, old business model, looking to remake itself…
“The dark proteome could be an evolutionary playground for trying out new folds
Ultimately one would expect particularly useful variations to get fixed at the genetic level. But it needn’t be where that variation begins. What’s more, organisms needn’t be quite so dependent for their molecular repertoire on their evolutionary heritage. O’Donoghue thinks that all organisms probably have a significant fraction of proteins unique just to them.
‘The fact that the dark matter of the proteome has less evolutionary constraint than the other bits of proteome may suggest that it’s under less selection,’ says Gerstein. ‘This is perhaps because it’s more flexible structurally, but also in a sense more flexible in terms of accommodating various amino-acid changes compared to the structurally inflexible and fixed parts of the crystallised proteome.’ This adds momentum to the picture of genomics as a rather more fluid affair than is suggested by the old picture of identical proteins being
mass-produced from a fixed genetic template.
Gerstein feels that studying the dark proteome opens up a host of interesting questions. For example, although known bacteria have a smaller dark proteome than eukaryotes, there’s a huge ‘dark
microbiome’ of unculturable bacteria. Might that be more full of dark proteins – perhaps useful ones?
And what about us? ‘How does the human dark proteome compare to that of eukaryotes as a whole?’ Gerstein wonders. How well, really, do we know ourselves?”
Shedding light on the dark proteome
BY PHILIP BALL13 FEBRUARY 2017