Melbourne Vixens go down to Queensland Firebirds in shock Super Netball loss in Cairns

Minor premiers Melbourne Vixens have experienced a stumble in Super Netball’s penultimate round, going down 64-58 in an upset loss to Queensland Firebirds in Cairns.

The Firebirds, last season’s wooden spooners, earned their third win from their past four matches in the Indigenous Round fixture, while handing the Vixens just their second loss of the season.

Firebirds goal shooter Romelda Aiken finished with 45 goals but the victory was built on the defensive efforts of Tara Hinchliffe and Kim Jenner, along with Gabi Simpson’s leadership from wing defence.

“I guess it’s been building all season, it’s great that we can finally get out here and we’re all really connected and doing our own job,” Jenner said.

With the minor premiership firmly in their keeping, the Vixens allowed Liz Watson to sit out for a second-straight match with an ankle complaint, while Caitlin Thwaites started the match on the bench.

Thwaites came into the contest after the Firebirds led 18-12 at quarter-time and swung momentum to the Vixens with a barrage of super shots to cut Queensland’s lead to two points approaching half-time.

A late two-pointer from Tippah Dwan handed the Firebirds a 35-31 advantage at half-time but the Vixens answered with six of the first seven goals of the third term to take the lead.

The Firebirds then steadied to edge ahead 48-44 at three-quarter time then opened the fourth term with five goals in a row to complete the upset win.

They finish their season against Collingwood Magpies in Brisbane on Saturday, while the Vixens face the Lightning on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday in a clash that will determine second spot on the ladder.

The Lightning are holding down second but are only two points ahead of the Fever, who conclude their regular season against Adelaide Thunderbirds in Brisbane on Saturday.

The Fever will secure second spot if they beat the Thunderbirds, and the Lightning lose to the Vixens.

NSW Swifts round out the top four.


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Sharks’ Johnson injured in Roosters loss

Cronulla’s NRL finals chances have suffered an incredible blow with fears star half Shaun Johnson has snapped his Achilles tendon in a tough 34-18 loss to Sydney Roosters on Saturday.

The 30-year-old went down untouched clutching his lower right leg in the 48th minute at the SCG and was soon after carted from the field.

No doubt in excruciating pain, Johnson kindly gave the thumbs up to the crowd from the back of the medicab before reports emerged of the season-ending injury.

Adding to the Sharks’ injury woes, prop Royce Hunt also took a ride on the medicab in the second half when he dislocated his right knee cap and Josh Dugan was taken off late with a knee injury.

With just one game left before the finals, losing Johnson – who leads the NRL with 22 try-assists this season – is a disaster for the Sharks who will not have a second chance in week one.

He added another to his tally on Saturday night, but the Sharks trailed 24-12 when he was taken from the field.

And while the Sharks’ injury crisis dominated the second half, the opening 40 minutes was all about the Roosters.

It was a magical night for Mitch Aubusson who scored a brace in his 303rd NRL game for the club to become the most-capped player.

The first was a short ball from Joseph Manu to crash over just five minutes after Aubusson led the team out as captain through a guard of honour.

But the second was more dubious.

Chasing through a grubber from Angus Crichton, Aubusson appeared to knock the ball on but replays showed he trapped it between his leg and hand.

The stroke of luck landed the milestone man his double and put the Roosters ahead 24-6 before they conceded late in the half.

After seven first half errors the Sharks still managed to score twice with just 42 per cent possession steered around by Johnson who was in slick touch before he went down.

Ronaldo Mulitalo and Siosifa Talakai scored in the first half but a third try to Braden Hamlin-Uele further punished the disjointed Roosters’ defence.

However, the premiers had enough class to polish off the win – even while missing some of their biggest stars.

James Tedesco, Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner all watched from the stands as the Roosters ran in six tries, including a double to Luke Keary.

All are set to return to play South Sydney on Friday night.

Manu was binned late after repeated ruck infringements but the fullback also got on the board along with winger Daniel Tupou.

Meanwhile, the finals-bound Sharks side are already missing Matt Moylan, Wade Graham and Chad Townsend – the latter two through suspension.

Graham is set to return against Canberra next weekend.

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Marcus Smart overheard in stinging Celtics tirade after Miami loss

Boston star Marcus Smart has been overheard spitting fury during a “screaming” tirade towards his teammates following their loss to Miami on Friday (AEST).

The Heat went ahead 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 106-101 comeback win that appeared to break the Celtics.

According to ESPN reporter Malika Andrews and The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn, Smart was the most vocal Celtics player during an argument inside their locker room, which could be heard by reporters nearby.

“Marcus Smart is screaming at someone in the Celtics locker room — or several people,” Andrews posted on Twitter.

“The yelling continues as Smart exits the locker room, swearing.”

Washburn posted on Twitter that the Celtics are imploding.

“Marcus Smart is screaming in the #Celtics locker room and there is a bunch of arguing going on,” he posted.

“Smart comes out (and) says, “Y’all on that bullshit!”. Team is imploding. Smart is in bathroom and there is still screaming coming from locker room.”

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens confirmed his players had a heated exchange in the locker room during his post game press conference.

“Guys were emotional after a hard game, hard loss,” he said.

Andrews told ESPN of the altercation she could hear from nearby the Celtics dressing room: “All of a sudden we could hear loud yelling. A clanking, almost like a chair or something incredibly heavy being thrown up against a wall. We were 25-feet away and the door was closed for all of this. Then for probably a minute or a minute and a half later, Marcus Smart walked out of the locker room turned the corner and walked into the rest room. He was still yelling and swearing as he walked into the rest room.

“When he was out of the room there was still yelling going on in the locker room.”

She reported the Celtics have agreed to meet as teammates on Saturday (AEST) to address the incident.

The Celtics led by 17 points in the second quarter and carried a 13-point lead into the second half.

They were blown off the court 37-17 in the third quarter and they still haven’t recovered.

Bam Adebayo scored 15 of his 21 points in the Heat’s blistering third quarter. The Celtics, who let a big lead slip in a 117-114 game one over-time defeat on Wednesday, regained the lead in the fourth quarter and were up 94-89 with 4.25 left to play.

But the Heat chipped away with a hook shot from Adebayo and a steal and dunk by Jimmy Butler.

Goran Dragic followed up two free throws with a three-pointer over Boston big man Daniel Theis that put the Heat ahead 100-95 with 1.42 remaining and Miami powered to the finish line.

Dragic finished with 25 points, and Duncan Robinson added 18, all on three-pointers.

Adebayo added 10 rebounds and four assists, Jimmy Butler had 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals.

“We like to make it hard for ourselves,” Butler said of the Miami “comeback kids”.

In fact, the Heat got off to a brisk start making five of their first six three-point attempts.

After a close first quarter the Celtics surged ahead in the second period, only for the Heat to make the needed adjustments at halftime.

“You get to the conference finals, it’s not all about you,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Boston had a lot to say about how that first half was going. That was them putting us on our heels.” Kemba Walker broke out of his scoring slump with 23 points for the Celtics. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum scored 21 apiece.

But Brown missed a three-pointer that would have tied it with 15.1 seconds to play and 20 Celtics turnovers led to 26 Miami points.

The Heat will try to take a stranglehold on the best-of-seven series in game three on Saturday in the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando.

The Celtics will go into that one knowing that no NBA team has rallied from an 0-3 deficit to win a series.

— with AFP

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Considering the outcome of a loss for Trump

Following President Trump’s erratic behaviour in the lead-up to the November election, focus is now on what might happen in a potential loss, writes Dr Norm Sanders.

LONG AGO, I was serving in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, Georgia. As many of us weren’t Southerners, we were definitely not welcomed in town. If we did make the visit, we were confronted with a monument in the town square consisting of a large pile of Civil War cannonballs supporting a flagpole flying a Confederate flag. A plaque at the base read: ‘They shall not have died in vain.’

In those days, Confederate flags were at least as common in the South as the Stars and Stripes. Recently, they have become a rarity along with Confederate monuments. The removal of the flags and statues has reopened the old Civil War wounds. The deepest cut of all was the banning of the Confederate flag at that most Southern of events, the NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) races.

Although Confederate flags may be disappearing from public buildings, the rallying cry “the South will rise again” is louder than ever. It is not only the Southerners who display the Confederate flag but many “Make America Great Again” Trump supporters, even in the North. 

There is great Southern anger over the pulling down of the flag which President Donald Trump is inflaming at every opportunity. Thanks to the NRA, America is awash with guns – 393 million – enough for every man, woman and child with millions left over. The U.S. is a bulging powder keg which could be about to blow up. 

The “red mirage” may light the fuse. The red mirage is a term coined by a group called Hawkfish a top Democratic data and analytics firm which is funded by millionaire and momentary Presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg. The premise is that it is very likely that President Trump will seem to have won on election night, perhaps in a landslide. But he could lose when all the votes were eventually counted.

In the U.S., election results are displayed on TV screens as a coloured map of the country. States coloured red indicate a majority Republican vote and blue indicates a Democrat lead. A red mirage would be a short term, illusory victory for Trump.

The reasoning goes like this: many more Democrats will vote by mail than Republicans. Democrat voters are afraid of catching COVID-19. Trump voters believe the pandemic is at least under control and most likely a hoax. Trump is very aware of this situation which is why he has declared war on the U.S. Postal Service.

In his AXIOS interview, Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn said:

We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump.


When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after election day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage. It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.

President Trump may be facing his Waterloo

Hawkfish is advising that voters be extra careful about voting early and making sure to follow all the instructions to the letter. Better yet, voters should put on masks and gloves to safely vote or return the mail ballots in person.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is ready to fight for the absentee and mail-in votes which will ultimately decide the election. He says his campaign has assembled a team of 600 lawyers to counteract Trump’s attempts to suppress the vote.

The days following 3 November will be chaotic enough, but what will happen if Trump loses and refuses to leave?

A bipartisan group of about 80 political operatives and academics has been discussing what could happen if President Trump were to lose the November election and then barricade himself in the White House.

The group was composed of both Democrats and Republicans and met to outline scenarios as part of a program called the Transition Integrity Project last June. They held an online meeting to play out a variety of scenarios.

Rosa Brooks, a Professor of Law and Policy at Georgetown University and a former Defense Department official who helped organise the group, said:

“All of our scenarios ended in both street-level violence and political impasse. The law is essentially helpless against a president who’s willing to ignore it.”

It doesn’t take a high-powered group of experts to predict what would happen if Trump called on his base to come to his rescue with assault rifles at the ready.   

The U.S. is crisscrossed by fault lines, some geological and some political. Tensions in the Earth’s crust cause slippage along faults, resulting in earthquakes. Political fault lines can also cause devastation when triggered. The San Andreas of political fault lines is the Mason-Dixon Line, which was the border between the combatants in the Civil War — slavery abolitionists in the North, slave owners in the South.

Today, it is exemplified by Senate leader and Trump protector Mitch McConnell from the South (Kentucky) and Senator Bernie Sanders, socialist, in the North (Vermont).

Trump is intent on causing a political earthquake of magnitude ten on the Richter Scale: “Near-total destruction.” In other words, Civil War II.     

Dr Norm Sanders is a former commercial pilot, flight Instructor, university professor, Tasmanian State MP and Federal Senator.

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How Green Vegetables Help Weight Loss

When trying to lose weight, some of the best additions to our diet should be green vegetables. Why are they so important and helpful with weight loss? Here are a few good reasons.

Green vegetables are filling

It is important to feel full and satiated rather than hungry when we are dieting. When we lower our calorie consumption considerably, our metabolism slows down, which will make it even harder to lose weight.

Eating enough green vegetables will keep you feeling full and satiated all day, but as they are low in calories, you will not increase your calorie intake excessively. Your metabolism will stay elevated and your body will continue burning calories.

Green vegetables are high in fiber

Fiber is useful to our body in many ways and it is also helpful with weight loss too. Firstly, fiber helps in slowing down the rate at which sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream, which reduces the impact on blood glucose levels.

While our blood sugar levels remain stable, we avoid fluctuations that contribute to cravings and ultimately weight gain. Fiber also helps our whole digestive system function more efficiently, removing waste and keeping it healthy.

Green vegetables have an alkalizing effect on our body

Green vegetables help promote alkalinity in our body, which is extremely important for our general health and well-being as well as weight loss. If our body becomes too acidic we will begin to retain water and gain weight as well as possibly developing other types of health problems.

Many of the typical modern diets today are composed of acid forming foods such as meat, grains, flour, sugar, coffee and dairy products. Our body requires some acid forming foods, but we cannot eat a diet of totally acid forming foods without experiencing problems of some kind.

Green vegetables, due to their alkalizing affect, reduce the level of acidity in our body. The result of this lower acidity is improved health and well-being, as well as successful weight loss. Other vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli , asparagus and cucumber also have an alkalizing effect on our body.

Green Vegetables Are Rich In Vitamins

Green vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and no matter how we look at it, they are beneficial to our body whether we are trying to lose weight or not.

If we find it difficult to eat sufficient quantities of vegetables, or we do not particularly like the taste, we should try adding them to other dishes to enhance their flavor and make them more palatable. Perhaps we could make vegetable soup or stir fry chicken and vegetables for a tasty lunch, make coleslaw with low calorie mayonnaise or include them in casseroles and stews.

However if we choose to introduce more green vegetables into our diet, it will be well worth the effort. We will reap the rewards of a healthy body, increased energy levels and improve our chances of reaching our weight loss goals.

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ITI Q1 results: Net loss widens to Rs 102 cr

NEW DELHI: State-run telecom gear maker ITI Limited on Monday reported widening of its consolidated loss to Rs 102 crore for the June quarter, hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

The company had posted a loss of Rs 61 crore in the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal.

“The company has estimated from internal sources that there is a decrease of around more than 50 per cent in turnover… due to COVID-19. The recent Pandemic outbreak has brought about economic disruptions and uncertainties and ascertaining its impact is difficult,” ITI said in a BSE filing.

Consolidated revenue rose marginally to Rs 173.83 crore from Rs 170.59 crore in Q1 2019-20.

“The impact of any future events and developments emerging out of COVID-19 pandemic, if any, and occurring after the approval of financial result for the quarter and relating to the assets and liabilities of the company as on June 30, 2020 will be recognised prospectively,” ITI added.

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John Worsfold’s message to “Essendon people” after latest loss

John Worsfold says Essendon has no right to have success quicker than other teams just because they’re a “big-name club”.

Saturday’s 50-point loss to Port Adelaide means the Bombers have won just one of their past nine matches with their finals hopes in 2020 all but dashed.

“I understand that Essendon people think that Essendon should be better, but they’ve also got to understand that the competition challenges clubs now to work to the same rules – the same rules of the draft and the salary cap,” Worsfold told reporters post-game.

“No one team has any more right to be successful quicker than any other team, just because they’re a big-name club.

“You’ve got to knuckle down and commit to doing the work and good clubs will do that and come out of it with success.”

The outgoing Essendon coach was satisfied with the effort from his young side against the ladder leaders.

“For big parts of the game, we took it right up to them. But their class was too much in the end,” Worsfold said.

“You’re talking about a team that is right in the premiership window in terms of age and experience and they don’t travel at the moment, they’re living at home and they’re playing a very inexperienced team that is trying to learn and trying to learn without getting the opportunity to really train together.

“The facts are that we’re well below where we want to be, but that’s through a lot of factors other than understanding what we’re trying to do and committing to it. That’s not the reason for where we’re at.

“Pretty much all year we’ve had seven or eight of our first 22 out of the team.”

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Knights loss highlights top-eight gulf

Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien said he was shocked by some of the defensive lapses as he struggled to explain a 42-12 loss to Sydney Roosters.

The coach was livid on Saturday night, when, just three weeks out from the finals, he was shown the gulf between the premiership contenders and the Knights.

And while they are guaranteed their place in the finals, any success beyond that will take significant improvement.

“We’re going to give it our best shot of fixing it,” O’Brien said.

“The difference between our best performance and our worst is way too far apart.

“I get you’re not always going to be at your best but at the moment we’re getting too many guys that are nowhere near their best all on the same night.”

Over the past three games the Knights have had a troubling swing of form; stunned 36-6 by the Warriors before thumping Cronulla 38-10.

And after the Roosters deconstructed their defence on Saturday, O’Brien was last to question whether the harsh lessons they’re learning are sinking in.

“Some of the defence… I was shocked to see that,” he said.

“The inconsistent performances, our best is really pleasing but our worst is really disappointing.

“But we’ve had those conversations a few times now. There’s been a couple of other performances this year when you think they’ve been put to bed but clearly they come back to bite us when you don’t need it to.

“We need to pick ourselves up off the floor pretty quickly, we’ve got two games, we’re still in the finals but after a performance like that we need to address some stuff quickly.”

The Knights will face St George Illawarra and Gold Coast to round out the season before playing finals for the first time since 2013.

Kalyn Ponga, Hymel Hunt and Mitch Barnett are all set to return to the side after missing Saturday’s loss.

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Broncos post record ninth straight NRL loss as Gold Coast wins 18-6, Raiders trounce Dragons

The Brisbane Broncos have made history for all the wrong reasons after Gold Coast ran out 18-6 winners in Robina.

Somehow a nightmare season got worse for the battling Broncos after they slumped to a club record ninth straight loss.

In contrast, the Titans’ late-season resurgence continued in front of a 9,729-strong crowd, as they sealed their third straight win for the first time since 2017 and fourth victory in six matches.

Adding further insult, it marked the first time the Titans have defeated the Broncos twice in the same season.

Brisbane’s 15th loss for the season is also another record and all but ensures Gold Coast (7-11 win-loss record) will finish as the highest-placed Queensland team with just two regular-season rounds left.

On yet another night to forget for six-time premiers Brisbane (3-15 win-loss record), the three-tries-to-one victory ensured the Titans notched their first home win over their arch rivals since 2014.

Brisbane had started brightly when the Titans spilled a Sean O’Sullivan grubber kick, allowing veteran Broncos fullback Darius Boyd to pounce for the opening try of the match in the sixth minute.

Titans hooker Mitch Rein levelled scores with a dummy-half run five minutes later, before much-improved back rower Sam Stone made Corey Oates pay for misjudging a Jamal Fogarty kick to score in the 23th minute.

All eyes were on Gold Coast-bound David Fifita after interim Broncos coach Peter Gentle said he hoped the barnstorming back rower would show the Titans “what they are getting” before moving to the tourist strip next season on a lucrative three-year deal.

And Fifita gave the Titans a glimpse in the 35th minute when he barged over, only to be denied a try after replays showed he had lost the ball over the line.

After leading 12-6 at half-time, the Titans made a dream start to the second stanza when Young Tonumaipea capped a stunning 95-metre effort by scoring in the 44th minute.

Pivot Ash Taylor created something from nothing with a huge dummy, sprinting through a gaping hole as the ball went through three sets of hands before Tonumaipea crashed over.

Raiders still a top-four chance

The Raiders’ attack tested the Dragons’ defence throughout the afternoon.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Canberra has kept pace with the NRL’s top four via a 37-8 win over on St George Illawarra in Wollongong.

The Raiders, who scored six tries to two, are fifth on the ladder with two rounds remaining in the minor premiership.

They are two points adrift of the Roosters and Eels, who hold down third and fourth positions respectively.

Jack Wighton scored two tries in the Raiders’ comfortable win, while Dragons’ rookie sensation Cody Ramsey also posted a double in the only bright spot for the hosts.

While the 20-year-old Ramsey showed off his talent, the Dragons’ middle faltered and their defence was poor against a workmanlike Raiders side.

Canberra’s first try came in soft fashion when Hudson Young easily forced his way over in the middle, and it set the tone for the rest of the day.

Young and Joseph Tapine both marched through the middle, while Josh Papalii pulled off one of the hits of the year on Cameron McInnes.

Wighton’s tries took his tally to the season for 10, well clear of the next best half in the competition.

His first of the day came in spectacular fashion.

Jordan Rapana ran onto a dream bounce from a George Williams kick, before he offloaded it back inside and Tapine eventually put the five-eighth over.

Wighton’s second try, however, exemplified the Dragons’ struggles, when he hit a gaping hole from a simple Williams pass to stroll over.

It was one of four second-half tries for the Raiders as they tore the Dragons apart on their right.

Elliott Whitehead helped Jarrod Croker to one as he chased down a grubber kick with no-one home, while John Sutton brushed through the line in the lead-up to another from John Bateman.

Semi Valemei got the final try of the match as Williams and Wighton combined to help leave the Dragons short for numbers with their winger the beneficiary.


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Finding could lead to future treatments for hearing loss — ScienceDaily

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have conducted a study that has determined the role that a critical protein plays in the development of hair cells. These hair cells are vital for hearing. Some of these cells amplify sounds that come into the ear, and others transform sound waves into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at UMSOM and Maggie Matern, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, demonstrated that the protein, called GFI1, may be critical for determining whether an embryonic hair cell matures into a functional adult hair cell or becomes a different cell that functions more like a nerve cell or neuron.

The study was published in the journal Development, and was conducted by physician-scientists and researchers at the UMSOM Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and the UMSOM Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), in collaboration with researchers at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Hearing relies on the proper functioning of specialized cells within the inner ear called hair cells. When the hair cells do not develop properly or are damaged by environmental stresses like loud noise, it results in a loss of hearing function.

In the United States, the prevalence of hearing loss doubles with every 10-year increase in age, affecting about half of all adults in their 70s and about 80 percent of those who are over age 85. Researchers have been focusing on describing the developmental steps that lead to a functional hair cell, in order to potentially generate new hair cells when old ones are damaged.

Hair cells in the inner ear

To conduct her latest study, Dr. Hertzano and her team utilized cutting-edge methods to study gene expression in the hair cells of genetically modified newborn mice that did not produce GFI1. They demonstrated that, in the absence of this vital protein, embryonic hair cells failed to progress in their development to become fully functional adult cells. In fact, the genes expressed by these cells indicated that they were likely to develop into neuron-like cells.

“Our findings explain why GFI1 is critical to enable embryonic cells to progress into functioning adult hair cells,” said Dr. Hertzano. “These data also explain the importance of GFI1 in experimental protocols to regenerate hair cells from stem cells. These regenerative methods have the potential of being used for patients who have experienced hearing loss due to age or environmental factors like exposure to loud noise.”

Dr. Hertzano first became interested in GFI1 while completing her M.D., Ph.D. at Tel Aviv University. As part of her dissertation, she discovered that the hearing loss resulting from mutations in another protein called POU4F3 appeared to largely result from a loss of GFI1 in the hair cells. Since then, she has been conducting studies to discover the role of GFI1 and other proteins in hearing. Other research groups in the field are now testing these proteins to determine whether they can be used as a “cocktail” to regenerate lost hair cells and restore hearing.

“Hearing research has been going through a Renaissance period, not only from advances in genomics and methodology, but also thanks to its uniquely collaborative nature among researchers,” said Dr. Herzano.

The new study was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was also funded by the Binational Scientific Foundation (BSF).

“This is an exciting new finding that underscores the importance of basic research to lay the foundation for future clinical innovations,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Identifying the complex pathways that lead to normal hearing could prove to be the key for reversing hearing loss in millions of Americans.”

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Materials provided by University of Maryland School of Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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