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Hearing loss gene discovered

12/22/2009 - News

Hearing loss gene discovered

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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A gene that causes hearing loss in mice turns out to be significant in humans too.

A gene that causes hearing loss in mice turns out to be significant in humans too.
Some cases of hearing loss are genetic, occurring earlier in life than the more common age-related deafness. Recently, researchers at the University of Michigan discovered a gene that influences hearing loss in two strains of mice. One of them is known as 'spinner' because of the way their inner ear problem leads to them spinning madly in circles, as well as losing their hearing.

The gene, known as Tmie, alters the hair cells of the inner ear, which are vital for hearing. The Michigan team shared their findings with scientists at the University of Iowa who have an interest in hearing problems. It turned out that there's a human equivalent of Tmie - and this may open the door to screening for genetic hearing loss. The findings show how powerful knowledge of mouse genetics is for understanding human medical problems.

 

Source

American Journal of Human Genetics September 2002

Created on: 09/09/2002
Reviewed on: 12/22/2009

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