Friday, May 14, 2010

Creating Hair Cells

Scientists have said in recent years that stem cell research could lead to partial or complete cures for hearing loss. Researchers believe it is possible to take stem cells from the inner ear of discarded human fetuses to grow hair cells. The small sensory cells are essential for hearing. Up until now, there has been no treatmnet, medication or surgery to compensate for the loss of these cells. Because many people have moral objections to the use of cells taken from fetuses, an effort has been made to find another way to achieve the goal of growing new hair cells. Scientists at California's Stanford University say they've found one. Lead researcher Dr. Kazuo Oshima believes skin cells to create sensory hair cells. However, the technique may take a decade to perfect.

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