A collaboration, including researchers from Juntendo University, demonstrates differentiation from stem cells into specialised cells thought to be the most important therapeutic target for the treatment of hereditary deafness.
One in 1000 children suffers deafness or hearing loss, and hearing is the most common sense to be affected by congenital disease. Deafness at birth is often caused by mutations in a specific gene known as Gap Junction Beta 2 (GJB2), which codes for the protein connexin 26. In some populations, mutations of this gene are responsible for as many as half the instances of congenital hearing loss. Now, Kazusaku Kamiya and the co-authors of a recent report demonstrate a means of producing supplies of these cells on demand for use in therapeutic studies.
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