A team of German scientists recently developed a spectacular new cochlear implant that uses light to simulate sound. So far it’s only been tested on gerbils, but the results are promising. Cochlear implants are a decades-old invention that uses electricity to stimulate or bypass deadened auditory nerves in order to trick the brain into “hearing” something. Many people who suffer hearing loss use these implants to restore at least some of their ability to experience sounds. The problem with the traditional cochlear implant is that electricity isn’t as nuanced as audio waves, which makes it a relatively poor replacement. Light,…

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