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Recently I was invited to present at William Jessup University in Rocklin, California. WJU has a beautiful, modern campus filled with friendly and wonderful students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
During my presentation I was asked to discuss (among other topics) my views regarding cochlear implants. I explained that I am ambivalent (have mixed feelings) about cochlear implants but that my feelings are immaterial in this situation because technology and medical advances are going to happen regardless -- and will eventually reach the point where it is possible to reengineer our bodies so that (nearly) everyone will be able to have perfect or even "enhanced" hearing. The issue I have regarding cochlear implantation is that if we remove the existing cochlea and replace it with hardware -- we may be missing out on the opportunity to "fix" the existing cochlea using medical advances in biological regeneration.
An example of one of the many types of advancements that may play a role is "nanotransfection."
Nanotransfection can reprogram skin cells to repair blood vessels, nerve cells, and organs. “This is difficult to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98 percent of the time. With this technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch," says Dr. Chandan Sen, Director, Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies, Ohio State University. Testing has been conducted on animals -- clinical trials on humans are underway (OSU, News 2017).
(Reference: OSU News, (August 07, 2017), "Ohio State researchers develop regenerative medicine breakthrough," Ohio State News, retrieved 3/3/2019 from, https://news.osu.edu/ohio-state-researchers-develop-regenerative-medicine-breakthrough/ ).
See: Cochlear Implants
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