Ear Sensory Cells Likely Evolved from Gut Cells

Researchers at two universities have each determined that sensory inner ear stereocilia (hair cells) evolved from gut microvilli. These two independent groups studying the proteins that organize gut microvilli now suspect that in our evolution, our ear systems "borrowed" gut cells during the development of inner ear hair cell stereocilia. The studies may inform why cell mutations in the gut don't cause diseases as they do in the ear.