Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Cetacean Inner Ear (Cetacean Inner Ear)
Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2019-05-31
The main research results of the project are: 1) the predictions of cochlear frequency maps for cetacean species such as harbor porpoise and beluga whale based on the morphometrics of the organ of Corti, as well as 2) the optimization of a protocol to analyze inner ears allowing the detection of potential cases of noise-induced hearing loss. Immuofluorescence protocol allows us to combine several antibodies to label the cells of the organ of Corti and type I afferent innervation, which transmits the auditory information. The new protocol using immunofluorescence developed in this project will allow us to distinguish between newly formed lesions from old ones.
We disseminated the results of this project through different platforms, ranging from public lectures, Facebook and online media publications, and newspapers addressed to general public, to presentations in workshops and international conferences for scientific community, industry and regulators. During the duration of the project Cetacean Inner Ear, Dr Morell published 5 peer-reviewed articles (1 is currently submitted, and 3 in preparation from this project), 1 book chapter, 3 case reports, 8 invited talks, 5 oral and 4 poster presentations in international conferences.
If a lesion is found in a cochlea from harbor porpoise or beluga whale using the methodology optimized in the current project, we will be able to determine which are the frequencies that are impaired. In cases of noise-induced hearing loss, we will be able to then identify the potential sources that have trigged this lesion since damage due to noise exposure is frequency dependent. Thus, we are now able to provide tools to other researchers and policy makers to improve our understanding on the effects of noise pollution in the hearing system of cetaceans.