Deaf gerbils hear again with human stem cells

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    Sep 13, 2012 10:54 AM GMT
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/12/us-stemcells-hearing-idUSBRE88B15X20120912

    Scientists have restored hearing to deaf gerbils using human embryonic stem cells in an advance that could eventually help people with an intractable form of deafness caused by nerve damage.

    The procedure needs further animal research to assess safety and long-term effectiveness but researchers said on Wednesday the experiment was an important proof of concept, marking a further advance in the growing field of regenerative medicine.

    Marcelo Rivolta from Britain's University of Sheffield, who led the research, said the first patients could receive cell therapy for hearing loss in clinical trials in "a few years".

    After treating 18 gerbils with complete deafness in one ear, his team reported in the journal Nature that stem cells produced an average 46 percent recovery in hearing function, as measured by electrical signals in the animals' brains.

    "If this was a human patient, it would mean going from being so deaf as to be unable to hear a lorry or truck on the street to being able to maintain a conversation," Rivolta told reporters.

    "What we have shown here is functional recovery using human stem cells, which is unique."

    Gerbils were selected for the test because their hearing range is similar to that of humans, while mice - the usual choice for laboratory tests - hear at higher frequencies.

    The animals were deafened using a drug to destroy their auditory nerves before receiving an injection of around 50,000 human embryonic stem cells, which had previously been treated with growth factors to coax them into becoming ear cells.

    The response among the gerbils varied, depending on how well the new cells were integrated into the cochlea, the spiral-shaped cavity in the inner ear.
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    Sep 13, 2012 11:47 AM GMT
    Human stems are amazing... not like those lame gerbil ones.
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    Sep 13, 2012 1:21 PM GMT
    odd to see this flood of threads where riddler tries to remediate the impression he is a soulless monster obsessed with OBAMAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Not even a suggestion deafness is all a liberal agenda
    icon_lol.gif

    Yeah yeah, for all we we know, even Pol Pot had a kitten. icon_wink.gif


    cue: "He mentioned an Asian despot - he;s a RACISSSSSST!!!!!! I'm a VICTIM!icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 13, 2012 1:25 PM GMT
    JR_RJ saidHuman stems are amazing... not like those lame gerbil ones.


    splort! icon_lol.gif


    I bill you for a keyboard!


    And a replacement coffee.

    Warn a guy .
    icon_twisted.gif
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    Sep 13, 2012 2:03 PM GMT
    Upper_Cdn saidodd to see this flood of threads where riddler tries to remediate the impression he is a soulless monster obsessed with OBAMAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Not even a suggestion deafness is all a liberal agenda
    icon_lol.gif

    Yeah yeah, for all we we know, even Pol Pot had a kitten. icon_wink.gif


    cue: "He mentioned an Asian despot - he;s a RACISSSSSST!!!!!! I'm a VICTIM!icon_lol.gif


    You're just as klassy as TropicalMark. And that's saying something. As for these, they popped up on my blog reader - and I have consistently posted articles like this for a while now.

    I've noted you are racist because of the attacks you made about my race and appearance. I assume you were drunk when you did so as you seemed barely lucid at the time but that's just more indicative of the type of man you really are - nor have I ever claimed victimhood in that respect.