Chemical Earmuffs: The Future of Hearing Protection? | SciShow News


[INTRO ♫] Everywhere from construction jobs to rock
concerts, loud noise carries a risk of permanent damage
to your hearing. But a new study published this week in the
journal PNAS has found a chemical trick that might help
block the harmful effects of noise on our ears. They developed a drug-based procedure that actually prevented hearing loss in mice. The secret is targeting a key stage in the
journey of audio information from the ear to the brain. So sound is picked up by hair cells in our
ears, then delivered to nerve cells, which carry
the information to our brains. This drug works at the junction — or synapse
— between the hair cells and nerve cells. When a hair cell picks up a sound, it releases
a chemical called glutamate, which is then received by
special receptors on the surface of nerve cells. But if the sound is very loud or sustained
for a long time, the hair cells can produce too much of a good
thing. In those cases, a deluge of glutamate is transmitted, and this overexposure can cause damage at
the junction between hair cells and nerve cells. That damage is known as synaptopathy, and it’s one common type of hearing loss. Previous research has found that this damage
might be related to the flow of ions, especially calcium. Excess calcium has been implicated in helping
along the toxicity that results from too much glutamate
signaling. But not all of these receptors actually let
much calcium in. It comes down to whether or not they have
a protein called GluA2. Each glutamate receptor is made up of a handful
of proteins. GluA2 is one of these, but not all receptors
have it. It seems that receptors without GluA2 are
much more permeable to calcium flow, and that makes them vulnerable
to the harmful chemical effects of loud noises. For the time being, we don’t have any way
of repairing this noise-induced damage. It means permanent hearing loss. So these researchers wondered if they could
instead stop it from happening in the first place. So they surgically introduced a drug called
IEM-1460 into the inner ears of mice. The drug blocked the function of the nerve receptors lacking GluA2. The result was no damage to synapses, and no hearing loss in the mice. The technique has been referred to as “chemical
earmuffs,” but since the drug only blocks some of the
sound receptors in the ear, the mice’s brains still responded to sound
normally, suggesting they could still hear just fine. If this idea can be adapted for humans, it
has a ton of potential for preventing hearing damage. Imagine being able to take a pill before going
to a concert — all of the rock, none of the hearing loss. Or before going to a job like construction
or manufacturing, where hearing loss can be a daily risk. But remember — this was only in mice, and the researchers had to inject the drug
directly into their inner ears. It’s got a long way to go before it’s ready
for use in people. But while those scientists are hoping to help
people keep their hearing, another group in Antarctica has been seeing things no one’s ever seen
before. They’ve developed and deployed an underwater
robot to take a peek underneath a glacier. It’s known as Thwaites glacier. It covers an area about the size of the state
of Florida, and its melting accounts for about 4% of global
sea level rise. Most of the glacier is part of Antarctica’s
continental ice, but at its end, it flows out to sea and gives
rise to a floating ice shelf. The amount of ice flowing through this region
of Antarctica has nearly doubled in the last 30 years. It’s one of the most rapidly changing regions of the frozen continent, and this has a huge
impact on our oceans. All this makes Thwaites kind of a big deal
for scientists seeking to understand our changing climate. In particular, this team of scientists, part
of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration,
wanted to get a look underneath the glacier, at an area called
the grounding zone. The grounding zone is the area where the glacier
transitions from sitting on land to floating on water. It’s also a prime region of glacial change, where the ice can be eroded away by warming
ocean waters. So understanding what’s going on in the
grounding zone can give us a lot of information about the
future of this very important hunk of ice and its impact on our seas. But the grounding zone is a treacherous, hard-to-reach place, so the team made a robot to venture where they could not. It’s called Icefin. It’s a submersible robot designed to collect
data in the grounding zone. From atop the glacier, the team drilled roughly
700 meters down to the seawater below and lowered Icefin through. Once it was down there, the robot took a trip of over a kilometer to measure, image, and
map the grounding zone. The success of Icefin opens up a whole new
way for researchers to measure and monitor rapidly-changing glaciers
like Thwaites. Another Icefin robot has already been deployed
under the Kamb Ice Stream, a river of ice on Antarctica’s
Ross Ice Shelf. As our world continues to change in dramatic
ways, science like this will help us keep an eye on the most vulnerable parts of the globe. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow, which is produced by Complexly. If you want to keep imagining the world complexly
with us, check out our channel Animal Wonders hosted by Jessi Knudsen Castañeda. Animal Wonders is an animal rescue and education
facility that cares for close to 100 exotic animals
and non-releasable wildlife. They’re an educational outreach facility
based here in Montana, and they rescue displaced exotic animals and allow them to become ambassadors for their
species. Every week on the Animal Wonders YouTube channel, Jessi features different animals and shares
what it’s like to keep them happy and healthy. Recently, Jessi and the Animal Wonders team
took in Tigli the arctic fox. If you’d like to learn all about Tigli’s
story and find out how he’s getting along with the other foxes
at Animal Wonders, there is a link in the description to a video
all about that. [OUTRO ♫]

100 thoughts on “Chemical Earmuffs: The Future of Hearing Protection? | SciShow News

  1. Great I can already imagine the lab mice exposed to super loud sounds. Research at its finest. And by that I mean cruellest

  2. Yeah. That's what we need. Let's mess with our body/brain chemistry more than we already do. SMH

  3. 'Imagine being able to take a pill to prevent something from happening that could also be prevented by just not playing music too loud' lol And what about long-term side-effects?? I'd rather just take acid and chill out on a party that doesn't have too much noise.

  4. more visuals of the subject would boost this channel so much, even if videos don't come as often.

  5. I feel drilling holes and sticking electronics down into a worrying glacia wouldn't be helping it either. I know it's for science but you know the Japanese still have a lot to learn from whales so they continue to science them.

  6. I can't believe what I'm hearing…(he says with a horrible case of unilateral tinnitus.)

  7. I suffer from tinnitus and have slight hearing loss in my right ear. And it begun when I was eight years old. Way before I listened to loud rock music. Whilst loud music hasn't possibly helped, my problems started as a result of constant ENT infections before I started school and when I was a young adult. Not all hearing loss or tinnitus is caused by loud music. Some of it can be due to constant infection.
    And I'm wondering would that potential chemical treatment treat tinnitus?….. ☮️⚛️

  8. TIL that earmuffs can refer to warmers AND protective equipment. how about that…

  9. sorry read that as Twat-ies …and thought the name was a reference to the general shape of the glacier. ok

  10. The reduction in sound response at the nerve cell may affect emotional response to music/sound. I'm not a brain engineer

  11. So you're saying that soon I might be able to take a pill so I don't have to hear my wife's complaining?

  12. Cannabis interferes with glutamate transmission. Do people that go to concerts and use cannabis have less hearing loss than average?

  13. Glutamate. Same stuff as in mono sodium glutamate? A controversial food chemical that may produce migraines, heart burns, palpitations, brain fog, etc in some humans?

  14. As soon as I saw the name Icefin, I immediately thought, I wonder what that acronym stands for.

  15. No way to repair hearing?
    They said I couldn't use Stem Cells,
    I never heard them tell that.

  16. Doesn't make sense. The sound waves also SNAP the hair cells off. This doesn't prevent that

  17. Those idiots forgot the mechanical effects of the sound !!! That is good but not enough at all!!!

  18. Does the study show how much the received sound is distorted? Because despite the sound being highly distorted, it can still produce signals in the brain. In terms of humans, we might be able to hear after taking this drug but the sound could be very different from our normal perception isn't it?

  19. 1) I thought the 'hairs' in the ear break off and 2) wheres the pics from ice-bot 😉

  20. 2:16 Hahahahaha, imagine taking a pill before a concert. Thanks, hadn't laughed out loud in some time 🙂

  21. The chemical "fix" for lack of GluA2 may function as a gate to prevent hearing loss – – and that's great that we learned this – – but as far as I comprehend it, it won't help with the physical trampling of the hairs that leads to faulty brain signalling that causes tinnitus, which, personally, is much more damaging to my life than the moderate hearing loss I have in higher frequencies that I don't even have utility in hearing.

  22. Here is a question for you: How sound is Islamic hygienical jurisprudence really?
    I realize that is off-topic, but I have no idea how to submit questions to you and I think you said that you take them?

  23. I don't understand why most concerts and parties play music overwhelmingly loud! Sometimes it is so loud you cannot even distinguish the lyrics.

  24. Yeah….who would've ever thought about taking a pill before a concert? The future is crazy {o. o}

  25. Wait a tic
    What happened to the hairs being physically damaged by being rubbed so much? Is that no longer a thing?

  26. One of my sister's best friends was on the Icefin team while she was getting her PhD. It's so cool to see it make Sci Show!

  27. Just wear ear protection and properly. Those ones you pinch and put in ear. I see many, many people barely put them in their ears. It's not working when you do that 😆just the tip only works when you are trying to get laid.

  28. Ear plugs work pretty good….. What? Why? A drug….? Problem solving when we already have perfect solutions.

  29. I wish I could access the research path that was taken to get to this specific drug. As in, what were the first 1139 drugs hat were tried? Why did this one make it to publication? Did others work but kill the mice? Will researchers continue to #1141 and find something more amazing? How many people are working on this project around the world? Can we use this research for conservation efforts to counteract some of the negative effects of noise pollution? That last part is a big jump, I know, and when we play god in nature (like surgically deafening salamanders,) usually we get it wrong, so let’s not make this a million dollar idea just yet. /rant

  30. You are still going to want ear protection at a workplace. Loud sounds for that long makes you very tired in the head

  31. wow i could do with some of this to listen to this video, your voice is piercing most of the time, your not a Californian are you

  32. I start the video thinking it was about hearing protection. Then there was a razor shape turn to glaciers. Both subjects were interesting but the title of the video said nothing about glaciers. It just says "SciShow News" at the end of the title. I feel like you were trying to sneak the glacier part of the video in and just used the chemical hearing protection to draw me in.

  33. Im confused, why'd you throw in a second video about ice glaciers after a video about hearing loss?
    I mean both are interesting, but dont seem related in any way. Unless i missed the point.
    Otherwise it would be better if the ice one was separate with its own title so that people interested in that but NOT interested in ears, could notice and click on it.
    Someone let me know if i stupidly missed something

  34. A pill against hearing loss? Yes, please! An injection into my inner ear, which is completely encapsulated by bone? I'll take the hearing loss, thank you very much.

  35. I'd love to be able to shoot without ear protection on but I'll have to give this technology a while before I'd trust it with something that loud.

  36. Perhaps this will even lead to a drug that could reverse the damage caused, restoring hearing and curing tinnitus

  37. Another instance of the research (slightly) contributing to the problem. Drilling holes in the ice increases its surface area increasing the rate of heat exchange, i.e. melting. A macro case of the Observer Effect.

  38. Hate to be "that guy" but ear muffs are what school girls wear in the cold to keep their ears warm.
    You're talking about ear defenders

    Also PNAS
    <giggity>

  39. I hope they make a shorter term effect duration for when your gf's sister and/or mother come over for a few hours. I swear crows congregate around the house wondering who the new birds are…

  40. Microdosing psilocybin mushrooms has been proven to reverse and cure tinnitus

  41. To be clear, you still experience the full discomfort of the loud noise, so this is not a replacement for hearing protection

  42. "suggesting they could hear just fine"

    You gotta love the spin on the fact this drug itself most likely causes hearing loss by itself.

  43. So loud music is a drug that damages your hearing by overstimulating your synapses.

  44. If ever see an anglophone making fun of spelling of Slavic words as seemingly random strings of letters that you have no idea how to read it until you hear it and then it takes s moment of decoding how does such selling correspond to such pronunciation, I'm gonna show them the name "Thwaites Glacier"

  45. This would be great for soldiers. I only wonder if it stop tinnitus, if so soldiers could be great for saw gunners especially!

  46. Have you done an episode on noice cancelling headphones? There are people saying that it damages hearing. Can you make a video on it?

  47. Construction and manufacturing will never go for it. If they can’t see that ear plug in your ear you are guilty of committing safety crimes of the highest level. That’s why most ear plugs are florescent colored

  48. So the chemical earmuffs basically give you a cap for how loud a thing could be, since past that it'd actually block the extra signal?

  49. is it weird that I'm pretty sure I have receptors that do this cuz I've never experienced permanent hearing loss not even age related?

  50. Hold on all of the OSHA and MSHA information I've been exposed to for 40 years stated that the hair receptors become damaged to to extreme vibration occurs during periods of extreme noise. Are you saying this doesn't happen or that there information is faulty or they just don't know or care as long as we do what the establishment says (as usual)?

  51. yea this makes sense. Why would you simply use something to cover your ears if you can inject yourself with chemical substances.

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