Honorable Mention - Satoe Homma

Staff, Department of Otolaryngology

"Inside the Mouse Cochlea"

The cochlea is a spiral-shaped sense organ in the inner ear that is responsible for hearing. Within the cochlea are “hair cells,” which get their name from the hair-like structures that protrude from their surface, called stereocilia. Hair cells respond to sound, but die when exposed to loud noises, thereby causing hearing loss.

This image shows a portion of a cochlea from a genetically modified mouse. In this image, structural cells glow green from the expression of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). The hair cells have been labeled red and the nuclei are stained blue. 

Homma and her colleagues in the Zheng Laboratory use this microscopy technique to track cell health and better understand how cochlear hair cells die. 

Technique: Confocal fluorescence microscopy

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