By Tara Guastella
As you’ve seen on our previous blog posts, a baby chicken may hold the key to a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus. Chickens have the remarkable ability to restore their own hearing naturally by regrowing inner ear hair cells that, once they are damaged, lead to hearing loss.
In fact, most animals other than mammals can regenerate these delicate cells, regaining their hearing after the cells are damaged by noise, age, or ototoxic drugs. This is the basis for the work of our Hearing Restoration Project, which is aiming to translate this remarkable capacity to humans.
So with Easter right around the corner we thought our mascot, the baby chick, would provide you with 10 fun Easter facts:
1) Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ three days after his death. It is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year.
2) Like rabbits and hares, eggs and chicks are often associated with Easter because, in pagan times, they were signs of fertility and new life.
3) After Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy-consuming holiday. About 120 million pounds of candy are bought each year, enough to fill four dump trucks.
4) Roughly 90 million chocolate bunnies, 91.4 billion eggs, and 700 million Peeps (sugar-coated marshmallow sweets) are produced each year in the United States.
5) About 76 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.
6) Half of the states in the United States have banned the practice of dyeing live chicks for Easter.
7) To help Americans in need, egg farmers across the country are donating more than 11 million eggs to food banks across the nation.
8) The White House hosts an Easter Egg Roll on its Front Lawn each year. This tradition was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878.
9) Like many holidays, Easter also has its own catchy tunes or carols such as “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” and “Easter Parade.”
10) Some 16 billion jelly beans are made specifically for Easter, which is enough to fill a plastic egg the size of a nine-story building.
If you celebrate Easter this coming Sunday and enjoy chick-shaped marshmallows or other fun Easter candy, remember that it is a little chick that is helping us to achieve the next great medical breakthrough: curing hearing loss and tinnitus.