Deaf people could get 'almost perfect' quality hearing with cochlear implant which rebuilds sounds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Deaf people could get'almost perfect' quality hearing from a cochlear implant which deconstructs sounds as it hears them. Researchers are developing a device which they say could significantly improve the quality of what people hear through the hearing aids. In the UK around 1,200 people have cochlear implants – which essentially connect a microphone directly to the brain to recreate hearing – fitted each year. But the current technology'sounds metallic' and needs a'significant' amount of brain training to use, according to scientists who claim their device will be better. Researchers at the University of Greenwich say they're developing a device which, instead of directly magnifying outside noises, rebuilds it to pick out key parts.

New cochlear implant allows people to take direct calls

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Most people can take a call on their mobile or use their phone to listen to music without a second thought. But for those with severe hearing loss these simple activities can be frustrating and complex.

Fifth mountain lion diagnosed with mange, possibly linked to rat poison

Los Angeles Times

P-53 didn't look like her usual self when researchers observed her through remote camera images. Her fur was scruffy, making her face look swollen, and her eyes were squinted nearly shut. She has mange, a parasitic skin disease that causes crusting and skin lesions, the researchers determined. Jeff Sikich, a biologist studying the mountain lions, quickly recaptured P-53 and treated her, before releasing her back into the wild. Now, researchers are waiting to see how she will react to the treatment, said Kate Kuykendall, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service.

Identifying Hearing Deficiencies from Statistically Learned Speech Features for Personalized Tuning of Cochlear Implants

AAAI Conferences

Cochlear implants (CIs) are an effective intervention for individuals with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Currently, no tuning procedure exists that can fully exploit the technology. We propose online unsupervised algorithms to learn features from the speech of a severely-to-profoundly hearing-impaired patient round-the-clock and compare the features to those learned from the normal hearing population using a set of neurophysiological metrics. Experimental results are presented. The information from comparison can be exploited to modify the signal processing in a patient’s CI to enhance his audibility of speech.

Phone calls can be beamed right into your central nervous system

New Scientist

Just what you need in the age of ubiquitous surveillance: the latest cochlear implants will allow users stream audio directly from their iPhone into their cochlear nerve. Apple and implant manufacturer Cochlear have made "Made for iPhone" connectivity available for any hearing implants that use the next-generation Nucleus 7 sound processor. The advance means that these implants can also stream music and Netflix shows. The technology was first unveiled in 2014 when it was added to hearing aids such as the Starkey Halo and ReSound LiNX. But this is the first time it's been linked into the central nervous system.