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Damaged hair cells regrown in mice...

It's common knowledge that loud sounds or trauma cause irreversible hearing loss (either immediately or over time) in humans, as the frequency-respondent hair cells in our ears become damaged. However, a new study suggests this effect could be reversible.

According to a report in The Atlantic, based on research in 2013 by Dr. Albert Edge — which discovered that a "notch inhibitor" molecule could be used to regrow hair cells — scientists have been able to repair hearing damage in mice, regrowing the hair in their ears so they can hear missing frequencies once again. Interestingly most other animals can do this of their own accord, yet mammals groups where hearing damage is permanent.

Although it could take "years, or indeed, decades" to develop an successful treatment for humans, the news has sparked a flurry of activity across the globe, with Dutch company Audion Therapeutics planning human trials with backing from the EU, and Connecticut start-up, Frequency Therapeutics, filing a patent for a new treatment process.