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Seeing, feeling have something in common

Protein needed for eye development also involved in detecting vibrations

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2:28pm, February 16, 2012

When it comes to feeling good vibrations, the eyes have it. Experiments in mice and humans show that a protein important for eye development also plays a role in sensing vibrations. An international team has found that mice lacking a protein called c-Maf have deformed Pacinian corpuscles (shown here in a mouse’s leg), the vibration-detectors that surround mouse bones. People have Pacinian corpuscles in their palms and fingertips. When the researchers tested four people with eye cataracts due to malfunctioning c-Maf, those individuals had a hard time detecting high-frequency vibrations, the scientists report online February 16 in Science.

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