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Laughing hyenas, wailing levees, the sound of cheese and blaring bagpipes

April 23, 2009 -- Deteriorating screws in bridges, fish that listen in the dark, medical devices that use sound to treat disease, the detected comeback of a long-gone whale, the sound of hyenas, cheese, and bagpipes, and what evolution can teach us about cowardice.

These are just a few of the topics that will be covered at the 157th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), which convenes from May 18-22 at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon. There, acoustical scientists and engineers will present more than 1,000 talks and posters related to acoustics, a cross-section of diverse disciplines devoted to architecture, underwater research, psychology, physics, animal bioacoustics, medicine, music, noise control, and speech.

Journalists are invited to cover the upcoming meeting either onsite in Portland or online through the meeting's World Wide Press Room. Information on how to obtain complementary journalist registration can be found at the end of the release.


  1. Wimps Hear Dangerous Noises Differently
  2. Fish that Live in the Dark Have Better Hearing
  3. Gene-Laden Bubbles Grow New Blood Vessels
  4. Singing Screws Reveal Sick Structures
  5. Musical Words
  6. The Peculiar Hyena's Laugh
  7. Supple Waves in Cheese and Skin
  8. How the Bagpipe Got Its Voices
  9. Exploding Bubbles Trim the Prostate
  10. Reversing Time to Spot Cracks in Gas Pipes
  11. Laser Makes Big Bangs Underwater
  12. Icelandic Sage: Return of the Right Whale
  13. Clogged Pipes Make a Special Sound
  14. Listening to Levees


Scrawnier people are more likely to perceive an approaching sound as closer than it actually is. This connection between physical fitness and the brain's auditory system may have evolved to help the weak get out of the way of approaching danger.

Contact: Jason Bardi
American Institute of Physics

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