Protein Key to Human Hearing Discovered
Scientists at Harvard Medical School and elsewhere have found the long-sought protein that transforms sound waves into nerve impulses. As NPR's Richard Knox reports, researchers are learning that hearing is the "fastest" of the senses -- faster even than vision in the way that the newly discovered protein transforms input into nerve signals.
Our sense of hearing needs to be fast -- not only to warn us of danger and the direction it's coming from, but also to enable us to perceive the incredible density of information --- tone, pitch, volume and the rapidly changing stream of vowels and consonants -- in speech.
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