Another Step In Hearing Research
HearingResearch: Restoring Hair Cells
OK. It’s getting exciting.
John Brigande, of the Oregon Hearing Research Centre in Portland, (Centre? Isn’t that a little pretentious for Portland) has implanted a gene and demonstrated growth of hair cells in the inner ear.
Functional and quite normal hair cells.
The article has a trying-not-to-get-too-excited tone, emphasizing that there’s still a lot of work to do. While conceding that it is no longer a “pipe dream” to talk about medical solutions to hearing loss, Mark Downs of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People made it clear that he is not about to get drawn into a discussion of when human trials could begin.
Science Ain’t So Bad happens to agree with the cautionary words.
There would seem to be numerous ways that this can all go wrong – turning into tumors. failing after 6 months, and, obviously, something different about mouse ears.
Still, if only for the little frisson of excitement (and for, seemingly, careful work in the best traditions of science), ScienceAin’tSoBadRating = 8 .