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Hair Cells- Scanning EM. (Photographs courtesy of Dr. E. W. Rubel, Professor, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Bloedel Hearing Research Center, and Dale Cunningham, M.S., Electron Microscopy Technical Specialist, University of Washington). Color-enhanced scanning electron micrographs showing normal (yellow-orange) and regenerating (green) inner ear hair cells from the cochlea of birds. These hair cells have regenerated just one week after being destroyed by excessive exposure to noise (similar regeneration happens if hair cells are lost because of ototoxic drugs like certain antibiotics). In less than a month the bird will be able to hear sounds and respond normally again. A small amount of hair cell regeneration has been demonstrated in other laboratory experiments in mammals.



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