:: United Press International | Australian scientists grow human ear cells ::

Australian scientists grow human ear cells

UPI Editor
April 11, 2007

PERTH, April 11 (UPI) — Australian researchers say they have created an alternative to stem cell technology to grow human ear cells.
Professor Marcus Atlas of the Ear Science Institute Australia said his research team has grown inner ear cells taken from an adult hospital patient in Perth.

He is seeking about $12 million in government funding to advance trials of the procedure.

Atlas told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that “it is extremely difficult … we have to have the right environment, the right nutrients, the right blood supply and the right environment for these hair cells to grow in.”

The cells have the potential to restore hearing and balance in people who are born deaf or have a degenerative hearing disease but human trials were still a long way off, Atlas said.

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