A team of researchers is revealing the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce sensory cells known as "hair cells," due to their hair-like protrusions that sense sound waves. Led by scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Neil Segil and Justin Ichida, the results of study were published in the journal eLife. The scientists successfully reprogrammed three different types of mouse cells to become 'induced hair cell-like cells, or iHCs. The first two types were embryonic and adult versions of connective tissue cells, known as fibroblasts. The third was a different type of inner ear cell, known as a supporting cell. To achieve reprogramming, the scientists exposed fibroblasts and supporting cells to a cocktail of four transcription factors, which are molecules that help convey the instructions encoded in DNA. The scientists identified this cocktail by testing various combinations of 16 transcription factors that were highly active in the hair cells of newborn mice. The resulting iHCs resembled naturally occurring hair cells in terms of their structure, electrophysiology, and genetic activity. The iHCs also possessed several other distinct characteristics of hair cells, including vulnerability to an antibiotic known to cause hearing loss. iHCs have the potential to accelerate hearing loss research in at least two important ways, according to Ichida, who is the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at USC, and the other corresponding author of the study.
Lori Loughlin and her husband pleaded guilty to participating in the U.S. college admissions scandal. According to Reuters, they committed fraud to secure spots for their daughters at the University of Southern California. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and will serve two months and five months in prison, respectively. The two will then have to pay fines of $150,000 and $250,000 and do 100 and 250 hours of community service.
According to Reuters, actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband will appear by Zoom video on Friday to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. They will admit to participating in a U.S. college admissions fraud scheme to secure entrance to the University of Southern California for their two daughters. Loughlin has agreed to a 2-month prison sentence. Her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will be in prison for five months.
"Full House" actress Lori Loughlin and her husband have agreed to plead guilty to U.S. charges they conspired to fraudulently secure their daughters admission to the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. Yahaira Jacquez reports.