A hearing research lab at the University of Iowa has secured a nearly ten million dollar grant to continue operating at least five more years. Dr. Bruce Gantz, director of the U-of-I Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Center, says the grant is a big relief.The nine-point-eight million dollars comes from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders. The center was established 20 years ago and has become, according to Gantz, the world’s premier center for cochlear implant research. He says an implant differs from a hearing aid as a hearing aid only amplifies sound. A cochlear implant changes sound waves in the air into an electrical signal and transmits them to the nerves, helping to clarify sound, not just amplify it. Gantz says the Iowa City-based center has done groundbreaking work already and continues to develop more products for the hearing-impaired.He says that new device could be of particular benefit for patients like Iowa farmers who have damaged their hearing over years of being around loud machinery.