Human Hearing Update
An ear institue in Palo Alto, CA has announced their research into restoring the hair cells in the cochlea, the cells that allow us to hear. February 14, 2020.

 

The update is that this research project in Palo Alto is attracting wide attention among citizens, and many of them misinterpret it to mean a method to restore these hair cells is now available. 

Unfortunately, that’s not true.

Many other ear institutes around the United States and the world have similar research projects going on. Frankly, despite the brilliance of their work, none of them have come close to their goal so far. 

These hair cells in the cochlea are smaller than a human hair. The area in a human head where all these organs work is about the size of a golf ball. That gives you an idea of the intricacy of the systems involved. 

So far the most successful strategy to restore hearing has been the cochlear implant, which we've discussed elsewhere in the SPOON. This project to restore hair cells is far more ambitious. We could compare it to research into restoring human sight in the blind

There is simply no way predict when such a project might be successful, or if it ever will be. Some research projects reach a dead end. I would say only that with our continuing new technology and ingenious physicians and scientists, we have a good chance.

None of us want to hear rumors that would cause people to develop false hope. As I said, we already have superb ways to help the hard of hearing and deaf. 

Here is the article: 

https://www.californiaearinstitute.com/ear-disorders-hair-cell-regeneration-research-california-ear-institute-bay-area.php

 

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