Navigation Links
NIDCD-funded chemosensory researchers present findings at AChemS 2010 Meeting
Date:4/18/2010

Individuals involved in rescue, recovery, demolition, and clean-up after the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster on September 11, 2001, were exposed to a complex mixture of airborne smoke, dust, combustion gases, acid mists, and metal fumes. The impact of this exposure on responders' upper and lower respiratory function has been well documented, but little is known about its impact on their sensitivity to odor and irritants. Researchers supported by NIDCD and the Monell Chemical Senses Center studied 102 individuals who worked or volunteered at the WTC site by administering a battery of tests to measure sensitivity to odors, which are perceived by the olfactory receptors high in the nasal cavity. They also measured irritants, which are perceived by the trigeminal nerve, a nerve in the head that senses touch, temperature, and pain. The researchers found that, even two years after exposure, the loss of olfactory and trigeminal sensitivity was significantly greater in the exposed group in comparison to individuals who weren't exposed. Thirty to 40 percent of the WTC group was significantly impaired in their ability to detect odors, while 75 percent were either partially or completely impaired in their ability to sense irritants. The most profound loss of sensitivity was found in people caught in the dust cloud after the buildings collapsed. The nose's ability to sense potentially harmful irritants in the air is part of an early warning system that protects the respiratory tract from toxic exposure.

The poster "Chemosensory Loss: Functional Consequences of the World Trade Center Disaster" (#249) takes place Saturday, April 24, 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. ET in the Pavilion.

"Smounds" Delicious! Smell and Sound Converge in a Little-Known Part of the Brain

Recent NIDCD-sponsored research shows that cells in a part of the brain called the olfactory tubercle not only discriminate odors -- they also respond to sound. Scientists found that 65 percent of tubercle cells were activated by at least one of five odors. In the same area, about 20 percent of cells were activated by an audio tone. Further, 29 percent of the cells had either an enhanced or suppressed response to different mixes of odors and tones, depending on whether or not the tone was present with the odor. This discovery may provide the first neural evidence for a sensory crossover in the brain where smell and sound converge. It could also help explain clinical reports of sound-smell synesthesia (in which someone "smells" sounds), as well as the ability to relate auditory pitch with specific odors. It also brings to light a relatively unexplored area of the brain that could play a key role in conditions which are accompanied by disorders of sensory processing, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

The presentation "Smelling Sounds: Olfactory-Auditory Sensory Convergence in the Olfactory Tubercle" takes place as part of the Sensory Integration and Competition symposium, Friday, April 23, 8:15 10:20 p.m. ET in the Island Ballroom.

Cilia, Sensory Dysfunction, and Disease: Exploring the Role of an Ancient Cell Structure in a New Class of Genetic Disorders

Ciliopathies are a newly recognized class of human genetic disorders that are caused by defects in cilia, cell projections, like antennae, that receive signals in and between cells and are as ancient in origin as the whip-like flagella of single-celled algae. Nearly every cell in the body has one or more cilia. In the sensory systems they help us smell, see, and hear. The ciliopathies encompass disorders as different from each other as polycystic kidney disease and retinitis pigmentosa. Olfactory dysfunction is a newly recognized symptom that many of the ciliopathies share.

This NIDCD-sponsored symposium features presentations from researchers in olfaction and other disciplines who are exploring shared and distinct mechanisms that affect cilia in different systems of the body.

  • Jeffrey Martens, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and Randall Reed, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) -- cilia protein transport in the olfactory system and olfactory cilia dysfunction
  • Joel Rosenbaum, Ph.D. (Yale University) -- protein transport from the cell into the cilium
  • Kirk Mykytyn, Ph.D. (The Ohio State University)cilia and disease in neurons
  • Arnand Swaroop, Ph.D. (National Eye Institute, NIH) -- cilia dysfunction in the visual system.
  • Dominic Cosgrove, M.D. (Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska) proteins linking cilia disorders in the ear and eye

The symposium "Cilia, Sensory Dysfunction and Disease" takes place on Friday, April 23, from 8:00 to 10:40 a.m. ET in the Island Ballroom.

Are Clues for Neural Regeneration on the Tip of the Tongue?

One of the most critical problems in neuroscience is how to coerce neurons in the central nervous system to regenerate after injury. Fortunately, taste receptor cells-located in the taste buds of the tongue-are regularly replaced throughout life. Research sponsored by the NIDCD is using taste cells as a model in hopes that understanding how these cells successfully regenerate will show us ways to encourage similar kinds of regeneration in nerves that are less successful at repair, such as those severed by spinal cord injury. Building on the knowledge that aging impairs neural regeneration, researchers at the Medical College of Georgia explored whether aging could also impair taste cell regeneration in the tongue. Researchers severed the chorda tympani nerve on one side of the tongue of rats ranging from 3 to 24 months of age. They then observed what happened in the first days after injury and weeks later in recovery, focusing particularly on the role of immune system cells and their impact on taste response.

Previous work in young, healthy adult rats had shown a progression from one type of immune cell to another type immediately after injury. However, two days after cutting the nerve, the researchers observed higher and longer-lasting numbers of the early-arriving immune cells in old rats versus young rats. Further, taste responses in the older rats were absent until about 85 days post-injury, in spite of the presence of some functional taste buds, while younger rats recovered taste function at least 40 days sooner. The researchers plan to test methods to boost and control immune function in older rats to shorten recovery time after nerve injury.

The poster "Effects of aging on the injured peripheral taste system" (# 247) takes place Saturday, April 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET in the Pavilion.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robin Latham
lathamr@nidcd.nih.gov
301-496-9898
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Advocates and researchers educate community about cancer in game show format
2. Researchers prove the gene responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy can be repaired
3. Pitt Dental School researchers find susceptibility for caries, gum disease in genes
4. Hopkins researchers put proteins right where they want them
5. EVMS researchers identify potential target for treatment of obesity-related diseases
6. UI researchers analyze implications of intelligent design for human behavior
7. Stanford researchers find electrical current stemming from plants
8. UCLA researchers make first direct recording of mirror neurons in human brain
9. MIT researchers harness viruses to split water
10. Researchers use novel nanoparticle vaccine to cure type 1 diabetes in mice
11. Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes 2010: 6 outstanding young researchers honored
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Massachusetts , March 22, 2016 ... facial recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... ), a leading provider of secure digital communications services, ... their biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those ... secure facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ... week of March 21 st .  The commercials will air ... popular Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... That Will Drive Precision Farming in 2017 and Beyond. The paper outlines the ... in the precision ag industry. , “We’ve witnessed a lot of highs and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, ... ... tank and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for ... honor of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall ... as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for ... Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... Regen BioPharma, Inc ... announced today initiation of a preclinical development program ... cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging its NR2F6 immunological checkpoint. ... generation of cord blood derived killer cells whose ... product in development will be a "universal donor" ...
Breaking Biology Technology: