Deaf No More


There is hope for those suffering from permanent deafness. It has been found that a drug can make deaf mice re-grow damaged sound sensing hair cells in the inner ear. These hair are vital for carrying sound vibrations from eardrum to the brain.

Birds and fish can regenerate these cells but in mammals the damage was considered to be irreversible. But the new drug works by suppressing the expression of Notch, a protein that prevents stem cells in the ear from developing into new sensory hair. This might be a promising treatment for noise-induced deafness, that affects 250 million people across the globe.


Down To Earth, January 2013