Melville, New York, May 18, 2000
In a week and a half, researchers will present some of the latest findings in the science of sound at the 139th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), which takes place from May 30-June 3 in Atlanta. A press luncheon at the meeting will feature four speakers describing some of the most exciting talks. The luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 31 at 11:30 AM in the Tower Room 1207 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta. The list of speakers and their topics can be found below. Those wishing to attend should fill out the reply form at the end of the release or contact Ben Stein (301-209-3091, email@example.com). Please note: The press luncheon will be held on a Wednesday and NOT a Tuesday, as was incorrectly noted in some versions of the previous meeting news release.
In addition, a wealth of information on the meeting is available online. At the ASA Press Room ( www.acoustics.org ), you can find lay language versions of a dozen meeting papers and a searchable database of all abstracts for the meeting. Some examples of lay-language papers are listed at the end of this message.
University of Tennessee-Kentucky
(865-974-1810, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Nicotine appears to improve the travel of sound through the auditory system, while at the same time reducing the auditory system's response to repetitive, distracting sound. These are the conclusions of a new, exploratory study on 20 nonsmokers with normal hearing. Previous studies in humans have suggested that nicotine has an effect on the auditory pathway, but most were done with smokers in which potentially complex withdrawal symptoms during the study were hard to separate. In addition, it was difficult to know if the effects were due to nicotine or the many other compounds associated with smoking. Now, Ashley Harkrider of the University of Tennessee and Craig Champlin of the University of Texas studied the response of 20 normal-hearing nonsmokers who received nicotine through the skin. Attaching electrodes to the scalp, they determined electrical activity at several points in the auditory system in response to sound. These measurements indicated that nicotine in these nonsmokers appeared to affect the transmission of information in the midbrain and cortex. These areas are believed to involve processing of auditory information related to alertness to changes in the environment and also to the screening of sensory input. (Paper 4pPP7 at the meeting)
Lay language paper of this talk at http://www.acoustics.org/139th/harkride.htm
Texas-based acoustical consultant
One of the most challenging settings for a sound engineer is coming up this summer, as the Republicans and Democrats host their national political conventions. Speech in these noisy environments must be intelligible both to the delegates on the floor and to a national television audience. Discussing his experiences with the 1992 Republican Convention in the Houston Astrodome, the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego, and the plans for this summer's Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Texas-based acoustical consultant Jack Randorff (806-829-2176) will discuss how best to manage these unruly sonic environments. It turns out that techniques introduced by acoustics pioneer Wallace Clement Sabine in the 1890s are still proving to be effective. (2pAA3)
Evan Unger University of Arizona and ImaRx Therapeutics in Tucson (520-770-1259, email@example.com ) One of the major pursuits in medicine is to deliver drugs to specific, targeted areas of the body. This approach could greatly improve treatment of many diseases, including cancer, and this can reduce undesirable side effects. In a promising avenue towards this goal, Evan Unger of the University of Arizona and Imarx Therapeutics in Tucson has developed tiny micron-sized bubbles that carry drugs and genes into cells. Irradiated by ultrasound, these bubbles can implode next to a cell, temporarily disrupting the cell membrane and enabling a desired drug or gene to enter the cell. Unger will discuss the results of studies using specific genes and drugs including those related to the anticancer drug interleukin-2. For traditional applications of therapeutic ultrasound like breaking kidney stones, the microbubbles may also enable use of lower power levels (2aBB1).
Waymond Scott Georgia Institute of Technology (404-894-3048, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Landmines are responsible for an estimated 26,000 injuries and deaths per year. Detectors for landmines have been developed extensively over the last 50 years, but they traditonally fail under unfavorable conditions. For example, they often have a tough time distinguishing actual landmines from other buried clutter. Employing sound waves along with electromagnetic waves, Waymond Scott of Georgia Tech and his colleagues have developed a system that can distinguish landmines from buried rocks and sticks. Such a technique may reduce time-consuming false alarms in current landmine searches. (4pPA4).
Lay language paper on this talk at http://www.acoustics.org/139th/larson.htm
COMPUTER IDENTIFICATION OF MUSICAL WOODWIND INSTRUMENTS Judith C.Brown Wellesley College
ON THE NOISE FROM A CRUMPLED CANDY WRAPPER Eric Kramer Simon's Rock College, MA
WHEN LIPREADING WORDS IS AS ACCURATE AS LISTENING Sven Mattys et al. House Ear Institute, Los Angeles
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