Two recent publications in the Nature Biotechnology journal show that researchers were able to help deaf mice hear again after inserting a gene, Ush1c, into their ears. Initially, the mice were given Usher Syndrome type IC, which also causes deafness in humans. To combat the deafness this caused in the mice, the mice were then given a normal copy of the mutated gene. The mice, who were profoundly deaf, began to hear. This research has important implications for humans with hearing loss, in that approximately half of the cases of hearing loss in humans has a genetic component.
From wired.co.uk, “Biologists help deaf mice hear again by inserting healthy genes into their ears”
Excerpt from article:
“[T]he work – and the field in general – is trying to answer one big question: ‘Can you manipulate the system to cure things that are wrong?’”