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April 30, 2007

Hearing like a codfish

The codfish has great hearing. So great, that Norwegian and French researchers are working to develop a pill using a codfish enzyme to help hearing impaired people to regain some of their lost hearing.

Unlike people, the codfish enjoys great hearing throughout its lifetime due to this special enzyme. The researchers are working to transfer the benefits from the enzyme to people with hearing problems.

”The codfish has small hair cells converting sound to electronic impulses. People have similar hair cells, but while our hair cells deteriorate over time, the codfish constantly grow new ones,” explained Niels Christian Stenklev, one of the scientists behind the project, to the Norwegian Aftenposten newspaper.

The scientists are optimistic and believe that their medicine can be ready in 10-15 years.

Source: www.aftenposten.no,13.12.06 and www.jp.dk, 14.12.06

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