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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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