Treatable brain inflammation may be behind tinnitus

Scientists may have seen a way to cure a maddening symptom of hearing loss.

Image source: Alex Iby/Unsplash/Big Think
  • A treatment for tinnitus – a constant ringing in the ears – has been frustratingly elusive.
  • Out-of-control inflammation, the brain's response to damage, may be the cause of long-term ringing in the ears.
  • A study that examined mice with noise-induced hearing loss seems to have found the neural trigger for tinnitus.
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  • After Hurricane Maria, anole species on the island of Dominica developed super strong grips.
  • This development may be one of the fasted rates of evolutionary change ever recorded.
  • Climate change will likely to result in more intense hurricanes, but not all species will adapt so quickly.
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Image source: MIT
  • MIT-affiliated researchers develop a hypersensitive glove that can capture the way in which we handle objects.
  • The data captured by the glove can be "learned" by a neural net.
  • Smart tactile interaction will be invaluable when A.I.-based robots start to interact with objects — and us.
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Space travel shifts astronauts' brain fluid, causes brain to float upward

A new study looks at astronauts' brains after they come back home.

Image source: NASA/Unsplash
  • In microgravity, brain fluids behave differently, winding up in different places in the skull.
  • Astronauts' white matter is affected by being in space and weakens their back-home sense of balance.
  • The study hints at our brains' possible ability to adapt to space conditions.
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Why humans struggled to make 'f' and 'v' sounds until farming came along

Love to drop F-bombs? Thank the shift to agriculture.

Blasi et al.
  • A new study suggests that the f and v sounds were made easier to pronounce by the change in our diets the invention of farming made possible.
  • The idea isn't a new one, but is only now being taken seriously.
  • Even today, many hunter-gather cultures lack labiodentals in their languages.
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