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J Cell Biol. 2010 Jul 12;190(1):9-20. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201001138.

Review series: The cell biology of hearing.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Dorris Neuroscience Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Mammals have an astonishing ability to sense and discriminate sounds of different frequencies and intensities. Fundamental for this process are mechanosensory hair cells in the inner ear that convert sound-induced vibrations into electrical signals. The study of genes that are linked to deafness has provided insights into the cell biological mechanisms that control hair cell development and their function as mechanosensors.

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