Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Noise Echoes In Cell Communications

Date:
February 14, 2007
Source:
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Summary:
Can't hear? Turn up the white noise, says a team of Rutgers-Camden professors who have produced a mathematical explanation for the benefits of noise. Their findings could lead to major improvements in hearing aid technology.

Can’t hear? Turn up the white noise, says a team of Rutgers-Camden professors who have produced a mathematical explanation for the benefits of noise. Their findings could lead to major improvements in hearing aid technology.

Dawei Hong, an assistant professor of computer science, Joseph Martin, a professor of biology, and William Saidel, an associate professor of biology, are working together to explain the biological benefits of noise through mathematics. Although the Rutgers-Camden team did study noise in the auditory system, “noise” can also refer to not just what we hear, but a randomness that is essential to all life.

“There is no life without noise; noise is the secret of life,” suggests Martin, who points to the constant movement of particles under a microscope to illustrate this phenomena. Unlike a physics experiment that can produce the same result after various attempts, in biology, one particular experiment can yield a multitude of outcomes.

This randomness, however, isn’t problematic, but a necessary function for survival. Until now, the role of randomness in sustaining life has been a great and unsolved problem. The collaborative research underway at Rutgers-Camden has led to new understanding of how living organisms might exploit randomness for important processes of sensory processing and cell to cell communication.

In terms of hearing, the Rutgers-Camden research team’s mathematical theory improves previous knowledge by offering a single explanation of the properties of noise in hearing under different conditions. To develop the theory, Hong used a variation on the wavelet technique, which he says is responsible for clarifying the JPG image. The findings could have numerous applications – most obviously in treating hearing loss by artificially increasing the amount of noise in the cochlea of the inner ear, perhaps by an implanted device.

Hong, Saidel and Martin applied this principle of noise to another process called “quorum sensing” – how bacteria signal one another to act collectively when causing an infection. The Rutgers-Camden research team used bacteria as a starting point for observing how noise enhances cell-to-cell communication. A full understanding of how this simple form of communication works might show how to disrupt it, and the resulting infection. The team will next apply their idea to the nervous system, where the cell’s entire job is to communicate.

Published in top journals on theoretical biology, this collaborative research between biology and computer science faculty at Rutgers-Camden is part of a thrust to ultimately offer a doctoral program in computational and integrative biology on the Camden campus. “We talk about biological problems and apply mathematical principles,” says Martin, who believes the development of the Systems Biology Institute in Camden, which will be managed by Rutgers-Camden, will further advance the systems biology discipline in South Jersey.

Educated at the East China Normal University, Hong received his doctoral degree in computer science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He joined the Rutgers-Camden faculty in 2001. Hong resides in Mount Laurel.

Martin received his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Northwestern University and his doctoral degree in neurobiology from the University of California at Los Angeles. A Rutgers-Camden faculty member since 1989, Martin resides in Medford Lakes.

Saidel received both bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been at Rutgers-Camden since 1992. Saidel resides in Cherry Hill.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. "Noise Echoes In Cell Communications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070201093633.htm>.
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. (2007, February 14). Noise Echoes In Cell Communications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070201093633.htm
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. "Noise Echoes In Cell Communications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070201093633.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. 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:
from the past week

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