Cerumen–Earwax

September 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

tufail

Earwax, also known by the medical term cerumen, is a yellowish waxy substance secreted in the ear canal of humans and many other mammals. It protects the skin of the human ear canal, assists in cleaning and lubrication, and also provides some protection from bacteria, fungi, insects and water. Excess or impacted cerumen can press against the eardrum and/or occlude the external auditory canal and impair hearing.

Cerumen is produced in the outer third of the cartilaginous portion of the human ear canal. It is a mixture of viscous secretions from sebaceous glands and less-viscous ones from modified apocrine sweat glands.

There are two distinct genetically determined types of earwax: the wet type, which is dominant, and the dry type, which is recessive. East Asians and Native Americans are more likely to have the dry type of cerumen (grey and flaky), whereas Caucasians and Africans are more likely to have the wet type (honey-brown to dark-brown and moist). Cerumen type has been used by anthropologists to track human migratory patterns, such as those of the Inuit. The consistency of wet type earwax is due to the higher concentration of lipid and pigment granules (50% lipid) in the substance than the dry type (30% lipid).

The difference in cerumen type has been tracked to a single base change (a single nucleotide polymorphism) in a gene known as “ATP-binding cassette C11 gene.” In addition to affecting cerumen type, this mutation also reduces sweat production.

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Syed Hussain Runs for City Council

August 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Syed Hussain wins LOWELL, MA–Syed Hussain is running for the Lowell City Council. A native of Hyderabad, India, he immigrated to the US in 1991.

In his pursuit of the American dream, Hussain rode his bicycle from South Lowell to Pawtucketville to mow lawns. He delivered fliers for The Sun. He delivered pizza.

He became a U.S. citizen, took some training courses and landed a job in human services. For the past 15 years, he has worked as a vocational resource specialist and mentor for the disabled and developmentally challenged.

“I want to do something for the people of the community who have no one to speak for them,” he said. “They need to be heard.”

Hussain said that as an “All-American City,” Lowell needs to better embrace its diversity and include people from all backgrounds in the decision-making of the city.

“I believe the future of Lowell is about working together, educating our children and making everyone feel that they are an important contributor to the community,” he said.

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