By JULIA BROWNELL
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Stanford researchers recently created the first ever hair
cells in culture.Hair cells, the mechanical receptor neurons
located within the ear, pick up sound waves in air and
transmit the signals to the brain — what we call hearing.
Stefan Heller, professor of otolaryngology and chief
author of the study, and his colleagues were able to pro-
gram mouse-induced pluripotent stem cells into hair cells
outside of the animal. Previously, any hair cells used in re-
search had to be harvested from living animals.
With this new technique, Heller and many other re-
searchers can produce enough hair cells to do further re-
search on hearing.
“That was the main goal — creating a bucket full of
cells,” Heller said.
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By DEVIN BANERJEE
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The Obama administration’s policies in
Iraq and Afghanistan have weakened U.S.
relations with those countries and, in some
cases, have fostered increased corruption
within their governments.At least that was
one of the messages delivered Monday af-
ternoon at Stanford by Zalmay Khalilzad,
former U.S. ambassador to the United Na-
tions, Iraq and Afghanistan, in a wide-rang-
ing talk entitled “The Struggle for the
Broader Middle East: Where We Are and
Where We Need to Go.”
Khalilzad, 59, who served under Presi-
dent Bush,was born in Afghanistan and ed-
ucated in Kabul, Beirut and Chicago.
He called recent exchanges between the
United States and Afghanistan a “blame-
game” that has eroded the relationship be-
tween the two countries. Afghan President
Hamid Karzai last month blamed the Unit-
ed States and other Western powers for
election fraud, and the United States re-
sponded by calling the comments troubling
“I believe that the origin of the situation
was the change in the administration in the
U.S.,” Khalilzad said, later adding:“There is
now an effort underway to really strength-
en the relationship, but the situati