By Tara Guastella
I’m so excited to share that we have recently launched a new Public Service Announcement (PSA): Chirp the News! The PSA introduces HHF’s new mascot, a baby chicken.
Why a baby chicken?
The key to restoring hearing in humans is to regenerate cells deep within the inner ear. In fact, most types of hearing loss in humans results from damage to these cells, called hair cells. While humans cannot regenerate hair cells in the inner ear after they are damaged, chickens can. In fact, most animals other than mammals can regenerate these delicate cells, restoring their hearing spontaneously after damage.
This knowledge is the basis for our Hearing Restoration Project (HRP). The HRP is a consortium of over a dozen top scientists from across the world working collaboratively to take what we know happens in chickens and translate that to people. Our HRP scientists estimate clinical trials testing a genuine, biologic cure for hearing loss can occur within the next decade. Since over 90 percent of tinnitus cases occur with an underlying hearing loss, a cure for hearing loss is also likely the key to a cure for tinnitus.
Most scientific research is conducted in isolation: one researcher or one lab trying to solve a major health issue. Our unique HRP consortium model is breaking the mold by encouraging our scientists to work as a team sharing data, tools, resources, and ideas. By working collaboratively, the timeline to a cure is expedited: five times as fast with the power of collaboration.
We won’t be able to get to a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus without your help—please donate today and be a part of the cure.