Hair Cell Regeneration

Well, after years of working with noisy machinery – up until 2001 I had operated milling machines and lathes for many years then, when I went self-employed, I used mowers, chainsaws, hedge cutters and strimmers – I’m often finding myself mentally replaying stuff that people have said because I didn’t hear it properly. At some point, probably in the next ten years, I’m going to need a hearing aid, but damn I would much prefer the damage repaired at its root:

In the Jan. 10 issue of Neuron, Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School researchers demonstrate for the first time that hair cells can be regenerated in an adult mammalian ear by using a drug to stimulate resident cells to become new hair cells, resulting in partial recovery of hearing in mouse ears damaged by noise trauma. This finding holds great potential for future therapeutic application that may someday reverse deafness in humans.

This is the kind of article that undermines my usual pessimism.

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