Research - Archive

Wearable ASL Translation Technology

November 19, 2015 in Interpreting & Transliterating, Research, Technology



Language Magazine
by admin34
November 17th, 2015

Roozbeh Jafari, Associate Professor for the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University is leading the development of a tool for American Sign Language (ASL) translation. While previous attempts for automatic ASL translation have largely relied on cameras and visual tracking technology, Jafari’s project tracks muscle movement and external motion. “The sensor is based on EMG, or electromyogram technology,” Jafari said. “Combined with the external motion sensors, which show us the overall hand movement, the EMG allows us to discriminate between gestures,” he said. “A fine-grain of interpretation […] motion sensors give us the overall sense and muscle activities give us information about the fine-grained intent.”

The prototype was revealed this past June at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference,   . . .

Read More  . . . ASL Translation Technology

Related Article from DOGO News –  By Kim Bussing on October 30, 2015

Hearing loss affects 40% of musicians, says survey

November 12, 2015 in Research



by Matthew Hemley

Four out of 10 of musicians in the UK – including those who work for stage productions – have suffered hearing loss, a survey has claimed.

Charity Help Musicians UK’s survey found that 40.5% of the 692 respondents said they had experienced hearing loss, with 78.3% of these revealing that being a musician was one of the factors that had caused it.

The survey was issued to musicians across the UK, including those working for orchestras in organisations including English National Opera and the Royal Opera House.

Read More  . . . Musicians

Silent Side Effect: Could Your Medication Cause Hearing Loss?

November 3, 2015 in Community News, Research


Certain OTC pain relievers, prescription antibiotics and other drugs may damage hearing.

US News – Health
By Michael O. Schroeder

Drug labels routinely describe myriad potential side effects stemming from taking a given medication.

Yet, one newly recognized risk usually goes unmentioned: hearing loss. “There are a number of common medications that are ototoxic, which means harmful to the ears,” says Dr. Sharon Curhan, a physician and epidemiologist at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. That side effect isn’t typically listed on drug labels, she says. “These are relatively new findings.”

Research by Curhan and others finds that some over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen (the generic name for Tylenol), ibuprofen and prescriptions, ranging from certain antibiotics to chemotherapy drugs, can damage hearing. In all, there are more than 200 known ototoxic medications on the market today, according to the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which can also impact the ear’s balance functions.

Read More . . . Drugs


UI Study Highlights Importance of Hearing Aids in Kids with Hearing Loss

November 3, 2015 in Research, Technology




The greater degree a child’s hearing loss, the harder it is for that child to keep up with normal-hearing peers. But a new study by the University of Iowa, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, shows hearing aids can make a big difference.

The study, published in the journal Ear and Hearing, looked at 317 kids with hearing loss. It found that hearing aids are important for the language, scholastic and social development of kids with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

“We have a lot of information on children who are deaf. But we really don’t’ know a whole lot about children who are hard of hearing.” says researcher Beth Walker.

Read More  . . . Hearing Aids

Scientists identify proteins crucial to loss of hearing

October 15, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Proteins play key role in genes that help auditory hair cells grow

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
October 15, 2015

Baltimore, MD, October 15, 2015 — Almost 40 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Right now, there is no way to reverse this condition, largely because auditory hair cells, which sense sound and relay that information to the brain, do not regenerate.

A new study led by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has found a key clue to how these hair cells develop. The current study identified a new role for a particular group of proteins, known as RFX transcription factors, in the development and survival of the hair cells.

“This discovery opens up new avenues, not only for understanding the genetics of hearing, but also, eventually for treating deafness,” said the principal investigator, Ronna P. Hertzano, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the UM SOM.

The study appeared in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications. The work was done in collaboration with scientists at several institutions, among them Ran Elkon, PhD, an Assistant Professor and computational biologist at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Read more  . . . Scientists identify proteins

Johns Hopkins to create center for hearing loss research, clinical care

October 15, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Center funded by $15M gift from David M. Rubenstein

Hub staff report 
Posted in Health
October 13, 2015

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will create a new hearing center focused on restoring functional hearing loss with a $15 million donation from David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, to the school’s Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 25 percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have a disabling form of hearing loss, and about 15 percent of Americans between 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss due to noise exposure. Also impacted is economic well-being, with an estimated annual cost of $122 billion to $186 billion in lost productivity and tax revenues in the United States.

Read more . . . Johns Hopkins . . .hearing loss

Younger Adults More Likely to Use New Gadgets for Hearing Loss

October 6, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology



Consumer Reports
by Sue Byrne
October 01, 2015

If you have hearing loss, like one in six adults in the U.S., you probably haven’t done anything about it: Less than half have gone to a doctor or audiologist about the problem in the last five years, perhaps because they don’t want to wear a hearing aid or try a different technology. But that may be changing.

A new report on hearing trouble in adults released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that people age 18 to 39 with hearing loss are more likely than people age 40 and up to use some sort of assistive technology to cope with the problem, such as headsets, FM microphone systems, text messages, amplified telephones, or live video streaming.

Room for Improvement

“There’s a lot of untreated hearing loss in this country,” says Carla Zelaya, Ph.D., a survey statistician for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the report, which surveyed more than 36,000 U.S. adults.

“We found that people of middle age were the least likely to use assistive technology, perhaps because their hearing loss is not that bad yet and they are uncomfortable with using the newer devices. But the younger adults seem to recognize their hearing limitation and are using new technology to help themselves.”

Read more Younger Adults


Older Adults’ Hearing May Be Tied to Earlier Death

September 29, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Findings don’t prove that impaired hearing is to blame, but draw attention to quality-of-life issues

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Older adults with impaired hearing may have a shorter life span than their peers without hearing problems, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 1,700 U.S. adults aged 70 and up, those with hearing loss were 21 percent to 39 percent more likely to die over the next several years.
Experts stressed that the findings, published in the Sept. 24 online edition of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, do not prove that hearing impairment, itself, shortens people’s lives.
“This is an interesting observation, but it also needs to be taken with a grain of salt,” said Dr. Ana Kim, director of otology research at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, in New York City, who was not involved in the research.

Read Article  . . . Hearing Loss

Advanced microscopy helps NIDCD pinpoint key proteins for hearing and balance

September 15, 2015 in Research, Technology




NIH – National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
September 10, 2015

Using powerful microscopy techniques, a research team led by scientists at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has pinpointed in mice the precise cellular location of two proteins known to be important for hearing and balance. The discovery provides additional evidence that the proteins, TMC1 and TMC2, are part of the channel complex that is essential for the inner ear to process sound and the signals that are key to balance.

Read more  . . . key proteins 

Credit: Bechara Kachar and Andrew J. Griffith, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A pill to prevent hearing loss holds promise

September 8, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research




Military Times
By Patricia Kime, Staff writer
September 7, 2015

The crack of an M16 shot rings out at 156 decibels. A jet engine at takeoff blasts about 140 decibels. Submarine engine rooms drone along at 120 decibels.

Given that 85 decibels is the threshold for preventing permanent hearing loss, military service is unquestionably hard on hearing.

But what if troops could take a daily pill to protect themselves from noise-related hearing loss?

A researcher from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is looking into the prospect, testing a common antioxidant found in fermented dairy products on the firing range at the Army’s Drill Sergeant Instructor Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Kathleen Campbell, an audiologist and SIU professor, has been studying the protective properties of D-methionine — an antioxidant found in cheeses and yogurt — for well over a decade, testing its effectiveness in preventing damage caused by excessive noise and other sources.

Noise-related hearing loss occurs when cells in the inner ear, which vibrate when exposed to sound, become damaged from overstimulation. The response to the noise causes cochlear cells to release free radicals, damaging electrons which can kill off the cells.

Read more  . . . 

Hidden epidemic – Could everyday sounds be causing you hidden hearing loss?

September 1, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



New Scientist
July 2015

As their shouts crescendoed into a roar louder than a jet plane taking off, fans of the Kansas City Chiefs American football team had reason to celebrate: they had set a new world record for the loudest stadium cheer.

That was last September, and in hindsight, the crowd might come to view the achievement in a more dubious light. At 142.2 decibels, the noise had the potential to cause permanent hearing damage.

Until recently, the medical community believed that most hearing loss was caused by hair cells in the ear degrading as we age.

But evidence is emerging that sound levels at sporting events, concerts, nightclubs and on personal devices can cause lasting damage to the connections between hair cells in the ear and the nerves that transmit sounds to the brain (see main story). Over 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss as a result of exposure to unsafe levels of recreational noise, according to a recent World Health Organisation report.

Hidden epidemic

To make matters worse, this kind of hearing loss doesn’t show up on standard tests. Researchers are calling it a hidden epidemic. “We think this problem is incredibly prevalent, but it’s difficult to measure because the tools we have available today are not sensitive enough,” says Konstantina Stankovic, an auditory neuroscientist and surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and Harvard Medical School, in Boston.


Hearing Loss Drug Trial Takes Place at Firing Range

August 27, 2015 in Research




DRUG – Discovery & Development
Tue, 08/25/2015
By Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor

An experimental drug trial is underway at the Fort Jackson military base in South Carolina.

Soldiers are taking a liquid micronutrient called d-methionine to see if it can potentially prevent hearing loss, writes The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Methionine is an amino acid that is typically found in meat, fish, and dairy products.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine professor and audiologist Kathleen C.M. Campbell developed this compound as a drug. She’s working with the Army to find a way to help military members dealing with noise-induced hearing damage as a result of constantly-firing loud weapons.

A randomized Phase 3 Food and Drug Administration sanctioned study began in late 2013. It was designed to enroll up to 600 participants over three years, according to the WSJ report.

Read more  . . . Drug Testing

Silently Suffering From Hearing Loss Negatively Affects Quality of Life

August 12, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research


American Psychological Association
August 7, 2015

New hearing technologies can help, studies show

TORONTO — Hearing loss in adults is under treated despite evidence that hearing aid technology can significantly lessen depression and anxiety and improve cognitive functioning, according to a presentation at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd Annual Convention.

“Many hard of hearing people battle silently with their invisible hearing difficulties, straining to stay connected to the world around them, reluctant to seek help,” said David Myers, PhD, a psychology professor and textbook writer at Hope College in Michigan who lives with hearing loss.

In a National Council on Aging study of 2,304 people with hearing loss, those who didn’t wear hearing aids were 50 percent more likely to suffer from sadness or depression than people who did wear them, he said. Additionally, hearing aid users were much more likely to participate in social activities regularly.

Although a genetic condition caused him to start losing his hearing as a teenager, Myers did not get hearing aids until he was in his 40s. Like many hard of hearing people, he resisted hearing technology. People wait an average of six years from the first signs of hearing loss  . . . .

Read More …. Silently Suffering

Antibiotic could cause hearing loss in preemies, study indicates

August 4, 2015 in Community News, Research



The Oregonian/OregonLive
By Lynne Terry
July 29, 2015

The drug that cured Peter Steyger of meningitis as a toddler also made him deaf.

Now a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University, he just discovered that the the class of drugs used to cure him can strip away hearing.

They’re often given to infants in neonatal intensive care units.

Those drugs, broad-spectrum antibiotics, are designed to kill a wide range of bacteria. These medications are routinely given to infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units to clear up any infection or prevent one, Steyger said. Life-threatening bacteria can kill preemies in 24 hours.

But here’s the rub: These drugs are toxic to the ear. They pose the biggest threat of hearing loss amid inflammation during an infection.

In research, Steyger gave a broad-spectrum antibiotic, an aminoglycoside, to mice. Healthy rodents prescribed a low dose suffered relatively little hearing loss. But that was not the case with infected mice, whose hearing was more severely affected.

“If you give a healthy animal, or healthy human, an aminoglycoside for long enough they will go deaf, Steyger said. “If they have an infection that induces an inflammation response, they will lose their hearing much, much faster.”

Read more  . . . Antibiotic

Participate in an Online Survey about VRS Phones and Software

July 27, 2015 in Research, Technology



Deaf and Hard of Hearing Video Relay Service (VRS) Users Invited to participate in an Online Survey about VRS Phones and Software

Your opinion counts: The Technology Access Program at Gallaudet University, in partnership with the Video Access Technology Reference Platform (VATRP) team is conducting an online survey to learn about your wishes and needs for video relay service (VRS) software.The VATRP project is a contract awarded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop new VRS software. It is a partnership among VTCSecure, TCS Associates, Gallaudet University, and RIT/NTID.Our goal is to understand what features you would like to see in the new VRS software. To do the best job possible, we also want to understand what you currently like about your videophones, and what you currently dislike.

To take this survey you:
1. must be an adult (18 years or older)
2. must be deaf, hard of hearing, or have another form of hearing loss
3. must use video relay services; and
4. must have access to the Internet in order to complete the survey.

Completing the survey will take up to 20 minutes by reading, and up to 40 minutes by using the available videos, depending on how much you use relay services. If you would like to participate in this online survey, please go to  –

Project Manager Shahzad “Shah” Merchant explains why it is important for you to take this voluntary & anonymous survey.

This study has been approved by the Gallaudet University Institutional Review Board.