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Nasal Cells to Replace Damaged Hair Cells in Cochlea ?
post Fri Sep 8, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Researchers at New York University School of Medicine Investigate the Use of Nasal Stem Cells to Replace Damaged Hair Cells in the Cochlea

Nasal stem cells, called olfactory neural stem cells (ONSCs), help give rise to new olfactory cells in the nose. These sensors let us detect the distinct aroma of a rose or the odors emitted by different foods, die off and are regenerated regularly. The olfactory neural stem cells in mammals are totipotent—they can give rise to any kind of cell found in the body. The fact that stem cells can differeniate into any cell type inthe body, from skin to muscle cells, has made them a very appealing target of research studies assessing their therapeutic potential. Everything from regenerating nerve tissue in spinal injuries to replacing cells that produce insulin in diabetics is being investigated. Because ONSCs can be harvested from living adults, and not embryos, they are free of the ethical dilemmas involved using embryonic stem cells. Importantly, the use of one’s own cells for a therapeutic procedure would preclude the debilitating effects of graft rejection by the recipient’s immune system. Anand N. Mhatre, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Physiology & Neuroscience,Anil K. Lalwani, MD, Professor of Otolaryngology and Physiology & Neuroscience, New York Univeristy School of Medicine
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