Stem cell breakthrough could mean cure for deafness

September 12, 2012 4:42:47 PM PDT
A stem cell breakthrough could one day lead to a cure for some types of hearing loss.

British scientists used human stem cells to improve the hearing of laboratory gerbils. By implanting the cells, the team was able to regenerate damaged nerves within the inner ear.

On average, the animals regained 45 percent of their hearing within ten weeks.

The procedure is a long way from a human application, but scientists believe it could be a first step toward curing some deafness.

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