Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, and some cancer therapy medications and antibiotics has been irreversible because scientists have not been able to reprogram existing cells to develop into the outer and inner ear sensory cells — essential for hearing — once they die.
But Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a single master gene that programs ear hair cells into either outer or inner ones, overcoming a major hurdle that had previously prevented the development of these cells to restore hearing, according to new research published today (May 4, 2022) in the journal Nature.
This is great news! I grew up driving extremely noisy tractors without hearing protection. And even with hearing protection after shooting some guns under certain conditions I can tell I had too much exposure.
I like living in the future.