Via ScienceDaily, a snapshot of progress towards regenerating the loss that causes one type of deafness: "researchers have isolated 'cochlear stem cells' located in the inner ear and already primed for development into ear-related tissue due to their proximity to the ear and expression of certain genes necessary for the development of hearing. ... Previous work in our lab with young-adult mouse cochlear tissue showed expression of genes normally found in stem cells and neural progenitors. This led us to hypothesize that cochlea harbors stem cells and neural precursor cells. Our work in collaboration with Miller's lab supports our hypothesis ... Clearly we have miles to go before we reach our end goal, but the exciting part is now we can test compounds that could promote regeneration of hair cells from these precursor cells in vitro, we can study the genes expressed during the transition from stem cells to hair cells, and we can think of developing strategies for cell replacement, i.e. transplanting these cochlear stem cells into the adult cochlea to affect hair cell replacement in the mouse, by extension, in humans."