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January 10 2013

Grown hearing-hairs 'beat' deafness in mice


Tiny hairs in the ear which detect sounds have been regenerated to reverse deafness for the first time, say US researchers in the journal Neuron.

An injection of a drug led to the creation of new hairs in tests on mice.

Normal hearing was not restored, rather the mice went from hearing nothing to detecting sounds such as a door slamming or traffic.

Experts said it was "tremendously exciting" but warned treating humans was still a distant prospect.

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