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The sense of hearing helps organisms function within their environment. Species with biological structures for auditory function use hair cells rooted along the tympanic membrane to transmit the pressure waves from the environment into a signal recognizable to the brain, resulting in the interpretation of sound. Over time, these hair cells can face damage from a multitude of different factors including loud nose, physical trauma, and ototoxic drugs, which eventually result in hair cell loss which decreases the ability to hear. The hair cells within the ear of humans cannot regenerate causing permanent hearing loss or deafness. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) possess the ability to regrow hair cells located within their lateral line system within a matter of hours. This system helps the fish detect movement throughout the water, consisting of structures called neuromasts. The hair cells within the neuromasts are analogous to that of the hair cells found within the mammalian cochlea making zebrafish an excellent model species to study hair cell regeneration.There is little information on the mechanism behind hair cell regeneration in humans, and therefore turn to studying hair cell regeneration within the zebrafish lateral line. Scientists investigate this by identifying the location of certain genes and their expression within the zebrafish lateral line using in situ hybridization. For my senior project, I will be using in situ hybridization to examine the location of expression of the gene Arpc1a three hours post hair cell ablation. By understanding the location of the gene expression in the zebrafish, this will identify whether or not the gene plays a role in hair cell regeneration and could help contribute towards a cure to solve degenerative deafness in humans.
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Solensten, Lia Sage, "Can You Hear Me Now? Observing Zebrafish larvae (Danio rerio) to Investigate Arpc1a Gene Expression with Anticipation of Hair Cell Regeneration Within the Lateral Line System" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 57.
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