Science News: It has been difficult to study the causes of deafness because the inner ear is well-protected by dense bone and is located near crucial blood vessels and nerves. Now Konstantina Stankovic of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston and her colleagues have used two-photon microscopy to create detailed images of the inner ears of mice. For their study, they compared normal mice with mice that had been subjected to two hours of 160-dB sound—a level comparable to the roar of power tools. The resulting images provided clear pictures of the hair cells in the inner ear, which detect sound vibrations. In the mice subjected to the noise, whole areas of those cells had been destroyed. Stankovic hopes that the images created will help with the placement of cochlear implants, which can scrape and damage existing inner-ear hair cells. Stankovic’s group has also created a small, battery-like device that could power implants of various sorts and that would also benefit from the new placement technique.