‘Stem cell hope’ for deaf people
"It is not a complete cure, they will not be able to hear a whisper, but they would certainly be able to maintain a conversation in a room."
- Dr Marcelo Rivolta
UK researchers say they have taken a huge step forward in treating deafness after stem cells were used to restore hearing in animals for the first time.
Hearing partially improved when nerves in the ear, which pass sounds into the brain, were rebuilt in gerbils - a UK study in the journal Nature reports.
Getting the same improvement in people would be a shift from being unable to hear traffic to hearing a conversation.