Gerbils Regain Hearing through Stem Cell Treatment

UK researchers have restored hearing in animals with the use of stem cells for the first time. About 10 percent of people with profound hearing loss have damaged nerve cells, called spiral ganglion neurons, that fail to detect signals created by sound vibrations. Using stem cells from a human embryo—which can become any other type of cell—the scientists created cells similar to the spiral ganglion neurons. They then injected them into the ears of deaf gerbils. By the end of the study, an average of 45 percent of the animals’ hearing range had been restored. However, scientists said the possibility of treating humans in this way is still distant. More… Discuss

 

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