Cultivated ear cells may lead to cure for deafness - health - 02 April 2009 - New Scientist
British scientists were able to create human auditory hair cells and neurons, two components that would be required to treat deafness. The scientists used fetal stems cells, then experimented until they discovered a cocktail that generated auditory hair cells that bend in response to sound waves. They then discovered another cocktail that allowed them to grow the auditory neurons that transmit the signals detected by the auditory hairs to the brain. This discovery means that they can test various methods for regenerating or repairing these celss, and hopefully develop new methods for treating deafness without resorting to cochlear implants. They are now looking for adult stem cells that can be coaxed into creating auditory hairs and neurons so that they can avoid using fetal stem cells.