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Medical News and Perspectives
April 13, 2005

Gene-Tweaking Animal Studies Seen as Advances for Restoring Hearing, Vision

JAMA. 2005;293(14):1715-1716. doi:10.1001/jama.293.14.1715

Unraveling the mystery of the sense of smell won two researchers the Nobel Prize in 2004. Now, two other senses, sight and hearing, are taking center stage as researchers report advances they hope will point the way to new treatment strategies for patients with certain types of impaired vision and hearing.

In mid-February, news that a team of US and Japanese researchers had restored hearing in deafened guinea pigs captured the headlines. Just 2 weeks later came reports that another group of scientists working with mice had successfully regrown the optic nerve—a key step toward restoring sight in individuals with glaucoma and injuries that destroy the optic nerve.

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