<p>AN EARFULL:</p>

© 2004 Nature Publishing Group

Antibody labeling of TRPA1 in the adult bullfrog saccule with optical sections as indicated. Actin appears red, and TRPA1 antibody stains green. The right panel is TRPA1 antibody alone. Scale bar, 5 μm. (From D.P. Corey et al., Nature, 432:723–30, Dec. 9, 2004.)

TRP channels are involved in nearly every sense, including pain, taste, touch, and vision. Therefore, scientists pursuing the long-awaited "tip link" channel, which converts mechanical stimuli into hearing in stereocilia of the inner ear, have long expected a TRP channel to be at the root of the process. In December 2004, David Corey and collaborators at Harvard University identified TRPA1 as a strong candidate for the mechanotransducing tip link channel.1

"It's headline news," says Clifford Woolf of Harvard University. "It suggests TRPA1 as a serious candidate for the mechanosensor in the somatosensory system as well." Others are more...

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