Scientists Restore Hearing in Animals Using Human Stem Cells

Health & Family

In a promising early study, researchers from the U.K. restored hearing in deaf gerbils by using human embryonic stem cells. It’s an encouraging finding for some of the millions of people who suffer from hearing disorders.

“We have the proof of concept that we can use human embryonic stem cells to repair the damaged ear,” lead author Marcelo Rivolta, a stem cell biologist at the University of Sheffield, in England, toldNature News. “More work needs to be done, but now we know it’s possible.” The study was published in the journal Nature.

Hearing loss is typically caused by disruptions in the connection between the hair cells of the inner ear and the brain. Hair cells turn sounds into electrical signals, which are then carried by auditory neurons to the brain. In the new research, the researchers studied gerbils with damage to the auditory nerves and attempted to replace…

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