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The exceptional performance of mammalian hearing is due to the cochlea's amplification of sound-induced mechanical stimuli. During acoustic stimulation, the vertical motion of the outer hair cells relative to the tectorial membrane (TM) is converted into the lateral motion of their stereocilia. The actual mode of this conversion, which represents a(More)
The tectorial membrane (TM) is an extracellular matrix of the cochlea whose prominent role in hearing has been demonstrated through mutation studies. The C1509G mutation of the Tecta gene, which encodes for the α-tectorin protein, leads to hearing loss. The heterozygote TM only attaches to the first row of outer hair cells (OHCs), and the homozygote TM does(More)
Unique features of diatoms are their intricate cell covers (frustules) made out of hydrated, amorphous silica. The frustule defines and maintains cell shape and protects cells against grazers and pathogens, yet it must allow for cell expansion during growth and division. Other siliceous structures have also evolved in some chain-forming species as means for(More)
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