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May 11, 2022

Scientists Discover Master Gene In Mice That Could Restore Hearing Lost In Aging

Posted by in categories: life extension, neuroscience

Hearing loss is normally permanent as sensory cells responsible for transmitting frequency information from the world around us to the brain get damaged from excessive noise and lifestyle factors as we age. Up until now, it’s been challenging to selectively regrow these sensory cells that play an important part in transmitting sound through the outer and inner ear to the brain, but that might be about to change.

In a study involving mice, scientists from Northwestern University have identified a single master gene that can program ear hair cells (known as cochlear hair cells) into becoming either outer or inner ear hair cells required for hearing. The breakthrough is reported in the journal Nature.

“Our finding gives us the first clear cell switch to make one type versus the other,” said lead study author Jaime García-Añoveros, PhD, in a statement. “It will provide a previously unavailable tool to make an inner or outer hair cell. We have overcome a major hurdle.”

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