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Byron Shire
January 29, 2021

Latest News

It’s legal to grow and distribute – but only by the anointed

Byron based medicinal cannabis producer is sending cannabis to Germany in a breakthrough $92m deal yet the humble plant remains illegal for locals and continues to put people behind bars.

Other News

The light within emerges from the ashes

Massimiliano Guerrisi will never forget the sight of his Bega Valley home being devoured during the Black Summer bushfires.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Ears Have It

It’s 6am, the sun is only just nudging its way through the clouds. I am up early to write my Soapbox. I was going to write on something else, but this morning when I woke and stumbled to my desk I saw my open diary: 22 January, Michael’s birthday. He would have been 61 today.

Endangered market

Marie Sherd Mullumbimby We’re in danger of losing the charming monthly Mullum Market. Please don’t let this happen. It’s such a...

Response to ‘A short history of our rail corridor debate’

Cr Basil Cameron, Goonengerry The article A short history of our rail corridor debate is better termed a history of the...

Trusted window

Dave Rastovich, Broken Head As someone who happily does not participate in the woeful communicative medium of social media and...

A Vaccine Damages Payment Scheme is needed

This will be the year of the jab. And in from Byron Shire, that poses some interesting questions.


Hyperactivity linked to inner ear

InnerEar-shutterstock_90981824London [PAA]

Hyperactivity in children may originate in the inner ear, new research suggests.

Scientists have evidence that inner-ear disorders can trigger the neurological changes underlying the behavioural condition.

Two brain proteins are thought to be involved that could provide targets for new treatments.

Many children and teenagers with severe disorders affecting hearing and balance also suffer from behavioural problems such as hyperactivity.

Until now no-one has been able to determine for certain if the two are linked.

'Our study provides the first evidence that a sensory impairment, such as inner-ear dysfunction, can induce specific molecular changes in the brain that cause maladaptive behaviours traditionally considered to originate exclusively in the brain,' said lead researcher Professor Jean Hebert, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

The investigation began after it was discovered that profoundly deaf laboratory mice with severe inner ear defects were also unusually active.

The animals' inner ear problems were caused by a defective gene affecting the transport of sodium, potassium and chloride molecules in various tissues, including the central nervous system.

Humans also possess the gene, said the researchers whose findings are reported in the journal Science.

When the gene was 'knocked out' from the inner ears of healthy mice, the animals became hyperactive. To the surprise of the scientists, this only happened when the gene was deleted from the inner ear. The same effect was not triggered by knocking it out of the brain or spinal cord.

FreakyLookingKid-shutterstock_65440522Tests revealed a role played by two proteins controlling nerve signalling chemicals, or neurotransmitters. Suppressing one of them with a specific drug restored activity levels to normal.

'Our study also raises the intriguing possibility that other sensory impairments not associated with inner ear defects could cause or contribute to psychiatric or motor disorders that are now considered exclusively of cerebral origin,' said Prof Hebert.

'This is an area that has not been well studied.'

Rail trail debate

Geoff Meers, Suffolk Park It was good to read David Lisle’s comprehensive and reasoned discussion of the history of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor....

No respect

Chibo Mertineit, Lillian Rock Once again it’s that time of the year where we are meant to celebrate Australia day on 26 January. The day...

A window of trust

Baden Offord, Ocean Shores Wholeheartedly agree with Dave Rastovich’s spot-on letter regarding the value and benefit of The Echo, that it is a ‘trusted window’ (Letters,...

Conspiracy and pubs

Art Burroughes, Mullumbimby Regarding my article Conspiracy in the Pub becomes talking point (Echo, 20 January). How can we avoid falling foul of the growing tsunami of...