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The mechanoreceptive sensory hair cells in the inner ear are selectively vulnerable to numerous genetic and environmental insults. In mammals, hair cells lack regenerative capacity, and their death leads to permanent hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. Their paucity and inaccessibility has limited the search for otoprotective and regenerative strategies. Growing hair cells in vitro would provide a route to overcome this experimental bottleneck. We report a combination of four transcriptiondoi:10.7554/elife.55249.sa2 fatcat:qdsfjay5kvb7vn3ulnsx635wla