29 July 2015
Vol 7, Issue 298

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Inflaming Hearing Loss. The inner sensory hair cells (shown) and outer hair cells of the cochlea transduce sound stimuli into action potentials that travel along the auditory nerve to the brain resulting in our ability to hear. Aminoglycoside antibiotics that are used to treat severe bacterial infections, particularly in newborns, accumulate in the cochlear sensory hair cells inducing them to undergo apoptosis, resulting in hearing loss or even deafness. In this issue, Koo et al. report that the inflammation associated with bacterial infections exacerbates antibiotic-induced hair cell death due to vasodilation of cochlear capillaries, which enables more aminoglycoside molecules to enter the cochlea. A Focus by Kros and Desmonds discusses the implications of these findings. [CREDIT: DAVID FURNESS, KEELE UNIVERSITY/SCIENCE SOURCE]