An Israeli discovery on the function of tiny molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) in the inner ears of mice could lead to the cure of human deafness in adults caused by aging, disease, drugs and noise, or genetic disease in children.
The research, carried out over three years by world-renowned geneticist Prof. Karen Avraham [photo] of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine and Dr. Lilach Friedman and other post-doctoral researchers in her lab, has just been released for publication in the prestigious journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).
About one out of every two elderly people suffers from some degree of hearing disability, while one in 1,000 infants is born deaf due to mutant genes. Healthy babies are born with 15,000 sensory hair cells in each ear that allow them to hear. These hair cells are responsible for translating sounds to electrical pulses that the brain can interpret.
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Source: article de Judy Siegel-Itzkovich @ TJP
- Holding out hope of a cure for deafness (ISRAEL21c)