The key sensory proteins for pain, touch, taste, smell and sight have all been identified. In fact, their discoveries have been so important to health wellness that they have led to a number of Nobel Prize awards. However, for forty years the protein for hearing has eluded scientific research. But not any longer, neuroscientists have discovered it. It is named TMC-1 (trans-membrane channel-like protein) and it works via a calcium channel in the inner ear. It stimulates the inner ear hair cells thus playing a crucial role in both hearing and balance.
Its’ discovery should lead to new developments to help the ½ billion humans on the planet who have hearing loss and/or balance problems.