Stem cell hope for deaf people

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TOP Sheffield University scientist Dr Marcelo Rivolta spoke about his research on hearing loss at an event supporting national charity Deafness Research UK at the BT Tower in London.

Dr Rivolta is looking at how stem cells may be able to provide a revolutionary cure for the problem, and his work is receiving vital funding from the charity. He is leading a team focusing on pioneering research to turn human stem cells into the hair-like cells and neurons found in the inner ear, which may lead to treatments to restore lost hearing in the future.

Currently there is no way to repair such cells once damaged and the resulting hearing loss is permanent.