Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemical Used In Marine Paint May Damage Hearing In Whales

Date:
January 31, 2005
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A toxic chemical painted on the bottom of large vessels to protect against barnacles may cause hearing difficulties in whales and other mammals, according to a study by Yale researchers published in the Biophysical Journal.

New Haven, Conn. -- A toxic chemical painted on the bottom of large vessels to protect against barnacles may cause hearing difficulties in whales and other mammals, according to a study by Yale researchers published in the Biophysical Journal.

The chemical tributyltin oxide (TBT) affects the mechanical activity of the outer hair cells, which modulate and boost incoming sound energy to the inner hair cells, according to senior author Joseph Santos-Sacchi, professor of surgery and neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine.

TBT is known to damage the immune system and the hormonal system of marine mammals, "but this is the first time it has been demonstrated that TBT could be working directly on the auditory system," said Santos-Sacchi. Mammals are the only group of animals that have outer hair cells.

Sensitive hearing in mammals relies on cochlear amplification resulting from the motor activity of outer hair cells. The protein prestin along with its interaction with intracellular chloride ions are key to this motor activity.

Santos-Sacchi and his colleagues used guinea pigs in their study and found rapid and profound effects of TBT on the outer hair cells as they studied the effects of TBT on chloride ion exchange across the outer hair cell membrane.

He said TBT bypasses the normal chloride ion pathway, thereby altering the ion's modulating effects of prestin; this may have a negative affect on cochlear amplification.

"This observation identifies a new environmental threat for marine mammals by TBT, which is known to accumulate in the food chain," Santos-Sacchi said. "It also is now important to assess the impact of TBT exposure on marine mammal communication."

###

Co-authors include Lei Song and Achim Seeger, both of Yale. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Chemical Used In Marine Paint May Damage Hearing In Whales." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050128222342.htm>.
Yale University. (2005, January 31). Chemical Used In Marine Paint May Damage Hearing In Whales. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050128222342.htm
Yale University. "Chemical Used In Marine Paint May Damage Hearing In Whales." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050128222342.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins