Jonathan E Bird

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The 20-Hz signals of finback whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were analyzed from more than 25 years of recordings at a variety of geographic locations on near-surface hydrophones close to whales and on deep hydrophone systems. These signals were composed of 1-s pulses of sinusoidal waveform with downward sweeping frequency from approximately 23 to 18 Hz at(More)
Inner ear hair cells detect sound through deflection of mechanosensory stereocilia. Each stereocilium is supported by a paracrystalline array of parallel actin filaments that are packed more densely at the base, forming a rootlet extending into the cell body. The function of rootlets and the molecules responsible for their formation are unknown. We found(More)
Recent insight into the genetic bases for autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, stuttering, and language disorders suggest that neurogenetic approaches may also reveal at least one etiology of auditory processing disorder (APD). A person with an APD typically has difficulty understanding speech in background noise despite having normal pure-tone hearing(More)
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) regulate assembly of macromolecular complexes, yet remain challenging to study within the native cytoplasm where they normally exert their biological effect. Here we miniaturize the concept of affinity pulldown, a gold-standard in vitro PPI interrogation technique, to perform nanoscale pulldowns (NanoSPDs) within living(More)
Unconventional myosin 15 is a molecular motor expressed in inner ear hair cells that transports protein cargos within developing mechanosensory stereocilia. Mutations of myosin 15 cause profound hearing loss in humans and mice; however, the properties of this motor and its regulation within the stereocilia organelle are unknown. To address these questions,(More)
The maintenance of sensory hair cell stereocilia is critical for lifelong hearing; however, mechanisms of structural homeostasis remain poorly understood. Conflicting models propose that stereocilia F-actin cores are either continually renewed every 24-48 h via a treadmill or are stable, exceptionally long-lived structures. Here to distinguish between these(More)
How proteins evolve new functionality is an important question in biology; prestin (SLC26A5) is a case in point. Prestin drives outer hair cell somatic motility and amplifies mechanical vibrations in the mammalian cochlea. The motility of mammalian prestin is analogous to piezoelectricity, in which charge transfer is coupled to changes in membrane area(More)
The precise assembly of inner ear hair cell stereocilia into rows of increasing height is critical for mechanotransduction and the sense of hearing. Yet, how the lengths of actin-based stereocilia are regulated remains poorly understood. Mutations of the molecular motor myosin 15 stunt stereocilia growth and cause deafness. We found that hair cells express(More)
Deafness in humans is a common neurosensory disorder and is genetically heterogeneous. Across diverse ethnic groups, mutations of MYO15A at the DFNB3 locus appear to be the third or fourth most common cause of autosomal-recessive, nonsyndromic deafness. In 49 of the 67 exons of MYO15A, there are currently 192 recessive mutations identified, including 14(More)
Mutations in GPSM2 cause Chudley-McCullough syndrome (CMCS), an autosomal recessive neurological disorder characterized by early-onset sensorineural deafness and brain anomalies. Here, we show that mutation of the mouse orthologue of GPSM2 affects actin-rich stereocilia elongation in auditory and vestibular hair cells, causing deafness and balance defects.(More)
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