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Study Reveals New Details on Hearing Restoration in Zebrafish

US National Institutes of Health researchers have uncovered a network of proteins that are involved in restoring hearing via cell regeneration in zebrafish, offering insights that may help treating hearing loss in people. In mammals, damage to the hair cells (HCs) in the inner ear that act as hearing receptors is irreversible. Most other vertebrates, however, can continually produce new HCs throughout their lifetimes or can regenerate them in response to trauma. To better understand this process, the NIH team ablated HCs in zebrafish and used single-cell sequencing to study how the cells regenerate in the animals. As they reported in Cell Genomics, the researchers identified a network of transcription factors that trigger the HC regeneration process. One set of transcription factors, dubbed Sox, initiate regeneration in support cells, then work with another set of transcription factors, called Six, to transform these cells into HCs. The team also uncovered a DNA enhancer that controls Sox activity during the regeneration process.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.