display | more...

Coors is a big damn company, with many subsidiaries. One of its subsidiaries is called Advanced Bionics Corporation. So what? Advanced Bionics makes a neat little toy called a cochlear implant. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I should start off with the three types of deafness.

The kind of deafness a person has depends on what part of the auditory system is damaged. If someone has suffered a lesion to the temporal lobe, forget fixing them up; we're just not there yet. If someone suffers damage to their mid-ear region, on the other hand, they're fix-upable without too much of a problem. What I want to focus on is inner ear damage.

The inner ear is made up mostly of the cochlea, a conche-looking thing that houses your little ear hairs. When your middle ear is vibrated by sound waves, the two layers of your inner ear move back and forth on each other (this is called shearing). Shearing sends signals to the thalamus, the thalamus sends signals to the temporal lobe, and that's what it's all about. When the inner ear is damaged, though, the hair cells don't work.

That's where the cochlear implant comes in. A cochlear implant receives and sends signals instead of the damaged hairs, and partial hearing (around 70%) can be restored. With a few months training, a deaf person can hear and understand a normal conversation!

What's the moral of this WU? Drink more beer! Drinking Coors will fund Advanced Bionics, Advanced Bionics will do more research, and more biological problems can be solved through the wonders of modern technology. So, here's to beer!

Actually, drinking beer (or any other alcoholic beverage for that matter) directly affects your hearing. It numbs the brain's response to signals from the ear. In particular, it plays havoc with the feedback loop that humans use to adjust the volume of their voice. This is why people who are getting drunk speak loudly. If someone's starting to speak too loudly, then it's pretty much proof they're drunk.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.