Hail Body Perfection!
The Daily Telegraph is carrying an article on Hairs grown from stem cells could restore hearing to the deaf.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have created the complex hair cells and the neurons needed for hearing from human stem cells.
They found they could encourage stem cells from the inner ears of human foetuses to grow into these highly specialised hearing cells.
The scientists hope they will eventually be able to use the cells to perform cell transplants in deaf patients to replace the hair cells and neurons that are damaged in a form of deafness known as sensorineural hearing loss.
The human race has an obsession with body perfection, and judging other people's bodies. It is often said that your body is your own private entity, but too often the mainstream thinks it has a claim on this by throwing judgment (be it by the way you look, or are quite happy being deaf). If you don't conform to these parameters, then sometimes it comes with actions that you don't have the right to fit into society. I've lost count the number of hearing people who are downright horrified that I won't entertain a CI. This pressure comes from media perceptions, the images so called charities throw about, and if you don't tow the line then tough.
It goes onto state the medical time frame of this project:
He warned it could be at least 10 years before human patients could receive stem cell transplants to restore their own hearing.
But he added: "In the shorter term, these cells also provide us with a very good model for studying the development of human hearing and the effect that new drug treatments may have on them."
In the article, RNID's intolerance of deaf people who they are and gives this message out to society, shines through again:
Dr Ralphe Holme, director of biomedical research for the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, said: "There are currently no treatments to restore permanent hearing loss so this has the potential to make a difference to millions of deaf people."
Nice one! Who represents our interests again?
And before anyone slams me for it - some people want to hear yadda yadda - it would have been more tactful for them to include "difference to ... deaf people where they want it" and something about how deaf people have a right to exist and participate just as they are. Who ever addresses society pressure, and say, my needs? Instead of doing this, voluntary organisations frequently add to the problem. Do they have the intelligence to see this? Prove it, action speaks louder than words.