Artist Opportunities – Fall 2014
Performing and Visual Arts Opportunities
(listed in order of application deadline)
Thursday, October 23, 2014
New York: Boosting the production of a key protein, called NT3, could help restore hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal ageing, a research found.
The protein plays an important role in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, the findings showed, offering scientists a target to develop drugs that might boost NT3 action or production.
“We began this work 15 years ago to answer very basic questions about the inner ear, and now we have been able to restore hearing after partial deafening with noise, a common problem for people,” said lead researcher Gabriel Corfas from the University of Michigan in the US.
NT3 is crucial to the body’s ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells in the ear and nerve cells that carry signal to the brain, the researchers demonstrated.
This special type of connection, called a ribbon synapse, allows extra-rapid communication of signals, which travel back and forth across tiny gaps between the two types of cells.
“It has become apparent that hearing loss due to damaged ribbon synapses is a very common and challenging problem, whether it’s due to noise or normal ageing,” Corfas added.
Using a special genetic technique, the researchers made it possible for some mice to produce additional NT3 in cells of specific areas of the inner ear after they were exposed to noise loud enough to reduce hearing.
Mice with extra NT3 regained their ability to hear much better than the control mice.
The researchers will now explore the role of NT3 in human ears, and seek drugs that might boost NT3 action or production.
The findings appeared online in the journal eLife.
Penn State – News
By Jennifer Abbasi
October 23, 2014
HERSHEY, Pa. — Subjective screening questions do not reliably identify teenagers who are at risk for hearing loss, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. The results suggest that objective hearing tests should be refined for this age group to replace screening questions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Bright Futures children’s health organization, sets standards for pediatric preventive care. The AAP recommends screening adolescents with subjective questions and then following up with objective hearing tests for those found to be at high risk of hearing loss. However, the screening questions were not specifically developed for children or adolescents. Studies also show that adolescents are poor self-reporters of hearing status.
“We found that you can’t rely on the Bright Futures questions to select out teenagers at high risk for hearing loss who would warrant an objective screen,” said Deepa Sekhar, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of pediatrics.
A study in 2010 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that one in five adolescents aged 12 to 19 has hearing loss. Most have high-frequency hearing loss, which may be related to increasing hazardous noise exposures from such things as personal listening devices, concert-going, ATV-riding and hunting with firearms.
For the study, eleventh grade students at Hershey High School — located in the college’s community — answered the 10 Bright Futures hearing screening questions and additional questions assessing other potential risk factors for adolescent hearing loss. They also took the Pennsylvania state-mandated hearing test — the familiar hearing screening where children raise their hand when they hear a tone — and a hearing test developed by the researchers to better detect high-frequency noise-related hearing loss. Some of the children underwent additional standard hearing testing in a soundproof booth. The researchers report their results in the Journal of Medical Screening.
October 30, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness
Author: Eryka Washington
Oct 23 2014
Eleven-year-old Adelyn Brault loves playing with her dog and now she can hear him coming from a distance– but that wasn’t always the case.
In kindergarten, doctors noticed Adelyn suffered from hearing loss. By third grade her mother, Jacquelyn, says it had gotten much worse.
“Her doctor felt it was time for the hearing aids to help her as well as in school,” Jacquelyn said.
Adelyn says before the hearing aid, it was tough to concentrate in school.
“Yeah, because I couldn’t hear the teacher, because if two people are talking at the same time I can’t tell which voice it is,” she said.
The hearing aid cost $3,000 and Jacquelyn’s insurance didn’t cover it.
Jacquelyn says she was desperate.
“It’s a lot of money to come up with in a short amount of time; they wanted half up front to even start making them,” Jacquelyn said. “Honestly I was like I don’t care what i have to do I have to get this money.”
Out of desperation, Jacquelyn googled “hearing impaired” and saw a link to grants and found United Healthcare Children’s Foundation. They were one of few organizations who help families with insurance.
“We recognized a need in what we do of families with children who have commercial health insurance that may still have needs,” Glenn Baker of United Healthcare said.
In order to receive the grant, you must be 16 years of age or younger, live in U.S., have commercial insurance and meet income criteria.
Since 2007, 7,500 people have received the grant totaling $23 million, 750 of those grantees are in Florida.
In Orlando, more than 160 families have received grants.
Washington,DC – Walk4Hearing
By Cheryl Heppner
Oct 27, 2014
The Hearing Loss Association of America’s annual Walk4Hearing on Saturday, October 25 was definitely the best I’ve ever participated in. The weather was great, the turnout was awesome, and the camaraderie was terrific. I walked from beginning to end in good company with Kay Ellis and Diane Preece, got to chat a bit with NVRC Board member Eileen McCartin, and relished having the super PAH! team alongside Team NVRC for much of our walk.
Katherine Pawlowski, who lives in Fairfax County is an ambassador for the Walk4Hearing. She also has a team “Friends of Fairfax County” which has raised money, some of which was is being shared with NVRC to provide services and events for children with hearing loss in the Fairfax County schools.
Team NVRC is very thankful for the generous walk donors who helped us raise $825, some of which will go to support HLAA’s work and the rest to support NVRC’s programs and services.
My hat is off to the walk chairs, Ronnie Adler and Tony Bartoli. When setting up Team NVRC, they were quick to answer my questions about the walk and its website by email, and always helpful.
October 27, 2014 in Research
Guardian Liberty Voice
by Janette Verdnik
October 26, 2014.
According to the recent study, sleep apnea does not only affect the quality of sleep, it may also cause the hearing loss. The research linked sleep apnea with hearing loss at both low and high frequencies. After the researchers adjusted the data for other possible causes of hearing impairment, the findings of the study held true.
The study’s findings give further support to the idea that sleep apnea usually does not occur in isolation. However, according to the researchers, it could be a sign of other underlying health conditions. Dr. Neomi Shah, one of the study’s authors, said that sleep apnea is more of a chronic and systematic disease and it is not just something that happens when you are sleeping. Dr. Shah is an associate director of the pulmonary sleep lab at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and according to her, sleep apnea probably affects multiple different organs. She is urging that people start considering this sleeping disorder as a chronic disease with inflammatory and vascular issues.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea, which is a common disorder, affects about 18 million Americans. Person, who is suffering from it, shows typical signs. He or she develops periodic gasping when snoring or makes some particular snorting noises. Therefore, sleep apnea interrupts sleep and can cause several other symptoms, including excessive daytime fatigue. It has also has been associated with generalized inflammation, endocrine and cardiovascular problems.
What is the connection between sleep apnea and hearing loss? According to the study, . . . .
October 27, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness
New York Times
OLATHE, Kan. — A Giant is buried in Kansas.
Baldwin City, Kan., is a mere 50 miles from Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals, this year’s American League champion. It is where Luther Taylor, who was known as Dummy Taylor, was buried in 1958, the year his former team, the Giants, began play in San Francisco, having moved from the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan.
Taylor was a pioneering pitcher, a colorful and charismatic character who could neither hear nor speak but who could throw a baseball with expertise. He helped the Giants win their first World Series of the modern baseball era, in 1905, and bridged a gap between hearing and nonhearing athletes, and he remains a unique link between Kansas City and the Giants.
During Taylor’s time with the Giants, from 1900 to 1908, many of his teammates learned to sign, and Taylor kept them laughing — and sometimes winning — for much of his career.
“He stands as an inspiration to many people,” said Sandra Kelly, a former teacher and principal at the Kansas School for the Deaf, where Taylor starred in baseball and later coached, in Olathe (pronounced oh-LAY-tha), a city 20 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, Mo. “It’s pretty clear from the stories how much his teammates loved and respected him.”
Kelly is now the executive director of the Deaf Cultural Center here, which sits directly across the street from the school. The center houses a museum with an exhibit dedicated to Taylor, one of the school’s most celebrated graduates, along with Paul Hubbard, who is said to be the inventor of the football huddle.
October 20, 2014
Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears.
By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging.
In a new paper in the online journal eLife, the team from the University of Michigan Medical School’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute and Harvard University report the results of their work to understand NT3’s role in the inner ear, and the impact of increased NT3 production on hearing after a noise exposure.
Their work also illustrates the key role of cells that have traditionally been seen as the “supporting actors” of the ear-brain connection. Called supporting cells, they form a physical base for the hearing system’s “stars”: the hair cells in the ear that interact directly with the nerves that carry sound signals to the brain. This new research identifies the critical role of these supporting cells along with the NT3 molecules that they produce.
NT3 is crucial to the body’s ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells and nerve cells, the researchers demonstrate. This special type of connection, called a ribbon synapse, allows extra-rapid communication of signals that travel back and forth across tiny gaps between the two types of cells.
“It has become apparent that hearing loss due to damaged ribbon synapses is a very common and challenging problem, whether it’s due to noise or normal aging,” says Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D., who led the team and directs the U-M institute. “We began this work 15 years ago to answer very basic questions about the inner ear, and now we have been able to restore hearing after partial deafening with noise, a common problem for people. It’s very exciting.”
Oct 20, 2014
By Helen Rae
Common childhood infections may lead to hearing loss in later life, a health study has revealed.
Ailments such as tonsillitis and ear infections can seriously damage a youngster’s hearing as they get older, Newcastle University research shows.
The findings are part of the ongoing 1947 Newcastle Thousand Families Study which monitored 1,142 Newcastle-born babies from 1947 to the present day, measuring their health, growth and development.
Now in their 60s a quarter of the “red spot” babies had their hearing tested and the results have been collated.
Dr Mark Pearce, who led the study at the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, said: “Our findings show that those who suffered from infections as a child were more likely to have a hearing loss in their 60’s. Reducing childhood infection rates may help prevent hearing loss later in life.
“This study shows the importance of the Newcastle birth cohorts, with the study initially focusing on childhood infections. The study is nearly 70 years old and continues to make a major contribution to understanding health conditions, which is only possible through the continued contribution of cohort members.”
The children, born in May and June 1947, are known as red spot babies because of the way doctors marked their medical files. They have provided invaluable information for studies over the years.
Vodafone Firsts, the programme that enables people to do remarkable things for the first time with the help of mobile technology, has helped a 19-year-old deaf Dutch girl experience a music concert for the first time.
Vera van Dijk, a 19-year-old Dutch girl who was born deaf and has never been to a concert, is preparing for one of the most exciting moments of her life following a cochlear implant that allows her to hear certain sounds.
Vera started to hear a small number of musical notes when she received the implant two years ago. Because she had limited awareness of the type of music she may like, she accessed social media channels on her smartphone to ask the Dutch public to help Kyteman choose the first song that she would be able to hear perfectly.
To ensure that the sounds are audible to Vera, her #FirstConcert is being composed from scratch using the limited combination of frequencies that the cochlear implant enables her to hear. It is being composed by Kyteman, one of the most popular progressive musicians in the Netherlands, who has worked with Sting and other leading artists.
October 14, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness
Legend has it that from the time they first suspect a hearing problem, people typically wait 7 to 10 years before actually doing something about it. That’s a decade—a tenth of a century—of deteriorating communication. Seven to 10 years, wasted!
Research shows many reasons why people delay, including a belief their hearing is not all that bad and they can live with it, that it would cost too much to treat, hearing loss is low on their list of health priorities, or they simply don’t know where to get help. (AARP/American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): National Poll on Hearing Health, 2011)
But unaddressed hearing loss has side effects. Years of poor communication take a toll on self-esteem, relationships, and overall health. It also gives a person time to develop bad habits. Sam Trychin, the renowned psychologist, public speaker and writer on hearing loss issues, wrote in his Mental Health Practitioner’s Guide (1987): “The majority of people who are hard of hearing have had a gradual loss over a number of years. For them there may not have been a distinctly recognizable crisis period, but they have had a long time in which to develop and strengthen a variety of bad habits, such as bluffing, which can be highly resistant to change.”
So, what are some of these bad habits?
HEARING LOSS, TINNITUS AND MENIERE’S SYNDROME SUPPORT, 2 p.m. first Fridays, Senior Center at Cascades, 21060 Whitfield Pl., Sterling. For all ages, including parents of children with hearing loss. 703-430-2906.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING, 18 and older, 10 a.m. second Tuesdays, Carver Center, 200 Willie Palmer Way, Purcellville. 571-258-3400.
HEARING LOSS OUTREACH, free information and referrals. Walk-ins, 10 a.m.-noon fourth Thursdays, Loudoun County Workforce Center, 102 Heritage Way, Leesburg; 10 a.m.-noon third Thursdays, Senior Center at Cascades, 21060 Whitfield Pl., Sterling. For free one-on-one appointments, call 703-430-2906 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
On June 18th, we were pleased to present The Future of Hearing: Exploring the Challenges and Possibilities – an evening with honored guest Vint Cerf.
October 6, 2014 in Research
WIRED.CO.UK / SCIENCE
06 OCTOBER 14
by JOSEPH BENNINGTON-CASTRO
American ecologist and hearing specialistCaitlin O’Connell-Rodwell is developing a new hearing aid inspired by elephants. Along with sound, elephants pick up ground-based vibrations, as the skin of their feet and trunks contains mechanoreceptors that can sense them.
“We [humans] have the same ability to detect vibrations, but people with normal hearing don’t focus on it,” says O’Connell-Rodwell.
She has partnered with HNU Photonics, a research company based on Maui, Hawaii, to develop a patch that adheres to the skin; this transduces sound into vibrations, which the brain interprets as a kind of Braille or Morse code. When participants touch the device, tiny electromagnets vibrate. Mechanoreceptors sense the vibrations, and send signals to the brain.
It turns out that the vibrotactile sense of the hearing-impaired is more pronounced than that of people with normal hearing, because their brains process the stimuli in the unused auditory cortex. “There’s a big population that is underserved… and could benefit from the same use of vibrations as elephants.”