The cure for deafness?

Harvard scientists cure deaf mice with gene therapy in a world first

Daily Telegraph

Why not all deaf people want to be cured

"He said, 'Hello'. And I went, 'Oh, hello'. It was so strange!" she says. "But he had a nice voice; deep. Then, while I was talking to the audiologist, someone else spoke and I said, 'That's my mum's voice. ' And Mum just burst into tears. "

First introduced to Britain in the late Eighties, a cochlear implant is an electronic device that's inserted into the inner ear and wired up to the cochlea, the snail-shaped cavity that normally helps to transmit sounds to the brain.

Acting as a receiver, it picks up sounds from a microphone worn on the outer ear, converts the sounds to an electrical signal and then sends the signal to electrodes to stimulate the auditory nerve.

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Gene editing prevents inherited deafness in mice

"Breakthrough for genetic hearing loss as gene editing prevents deafness in mice," reports The Guardian after researchers used a technique to "snip" away a gene mutation that leads to progressive deafness.

While many people assume hearing loss is something mainly associated with ageing, many cases are in fact hereditary.

It's estimated there are more than 400 forms of genetic hearing loss, many of which are progressive (they get worse over time).

The mice in the study were bred with a genetic mutation of the TMC1 gene, which causes tiny hair cells in the inner ear to die off and stop growing.

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