BUZZING BE GONE: Michigan researchers designed a device to treat tinnitus, or the perception of phantom noises. It plays a tone, then sends a mild electrical pulse to the cheek or neck 5 milliseconds later. Tests in animals suggest that when these precisely timed signals reach a key area of the brainstem, they reduce abnormal neural activity patterns involved in tinnitus. In a trial of 20 people, symptoms improved significantly after four weeks of therapy. A larger clinical trial is underway.