Gene Therapy Could Restore Hearing To The Deaf

A remarkable gene therapy treatment has been shown to force the growth of new hair cells. It is the deterioration of these cells with age (or abuse) that cause most hearing loss.


(Cell growth of control vs. Atoh1 therapy)

The technique was demonstrated in the journal Nature by an American team lead by Dr John Brigande of the Oregon Hearing Research Centre, Portland.

People, like all mammals, are not able to regenerate hair cells when they are damaged or lost. Dr Brigande and colleagues show in Nature that by implanting a gene that regulates hair cell growth, Atoh1, into the mouse inner ear while the mouse is still in the womb, new hair cells are made.

As for human tests, Dr Brigande says that the work is at too early a stage to say when they can start: "There is no present plan for tests in humans. The next step is to restore hearing in a deaf mouse.

"Only after this can we start experiments that will teach us if the approach might work in humans. So there is an enormous amount of work to do.

"The exciting news for those of us with hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is that we now have hope of having our hearing restored someday."

(Cure for deafness within reach?)

Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation may recall one particular episode - Loud as a Whisper. An ambassador is deaf; he has three different people translate for him, depending on the content and purpose of the communication (intellect, passion, harmony).


(Riva and the choir)

From Cure for deafness now within reach; thanks to Moira for another great story and sfnal reference.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/11/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.