You may have been told that all those years of enduring loud noises is the reason your hearing may be going. But new research is offering some good news for those of us who are hard of hearing. Given our aging population, that’s a lot of us!

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) recently determined that a single gene is responsible for our hearing. They’ve also discovered the exact cause of deafness while suggesting new avenues for hearing therapies.

The TSRI study, published in the journal Neuron, reveals how mutations in a gene called Tmie can cause deafness right from birth or hearing decline in later years.

Researchers were able to examine the hair cells of so-called “knock-out mice,” using electrophysiological techniques over six months. They then reintroduced the Tmie gene in the population before bringing back the very process that reinforces hearing. That means that one day, we might be able to use gene therapy approaches to hearing loss.
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