Scientists explore the latent regenerative potential of the inner ear. Scientists have identified a natural barrier to the regeneration of the inner ear's sensory cells, which are lost in hearing and balance disorders. Overcoming this barrier may be a first step in returning inner ear cells to a newborn-like state that's primed for regeneration, as described in a new study. The study suggests new gene engineering approaches that could be used to channel some of the same regenerative capability present in embryonic inner ear cells. Source 2k.