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  • Kirk Hartley

“Genetic predisposition found for noise-induced hearing loss”

A torrent of genetic data continues to flow out of studies of diseases and conditions. Any manufacturer, insurer,  or other entity seriously involved with risk and litigation needs to – at least – create a mechanism to ensure continuing, systematic knowledge of scientific developments relevant to products sold or risks insured.  Persons working in the area should be developing at least a working knowledge of how and why molecular knowledge can or plainly will cause material changes for some but not all risks and potential mass tort situations.  One means to gain knowledge is to attend conferences focused on molecular science and tort litigation. One upcoming session is on Friday, May 1 in Charleston, South Carolina. Almost all of the speakers are either real scientists or lawyers who really “get” the implications of molecular knowledge. See here for all the specifics on HarrisMartin’s DNA and Molecular Evidence in Toxic Torts Conference: The Time of Genomics Is Here

The point is highlighted by a new report on a condition that – at least to me – did not seem likely to possibly have genetic variables. But, an April 16, 2015 article in ScienceDaily brings news about  condition that is 1) often in litigation, and 2) is some evidence of possible genetic susceptibility. The article explains: “In a new genome-wide association study, an international team led by Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) neuroscientists has found evidence that some people may be more genetically susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss than others. …The study, “Genome-wide association study identifies Nox3 as a critical gene for susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss,” appears in the April 16 edition of PLOS Genetics, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.”

Journal Reference:


  1. Joel Lavinsky, Amanda L. Crow, Calvin Pan, Juemei Wang, Ksenia A. Aaron, Maria K. Ho, Qingzhong Li, Pehzman Salehide, Anthony Myint, Maya Monges-Hernadez, Eleazar Eskin, Hooman Allayee, Aldons J. Lusis, Rick A. Friedman. Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Nox3 as a Critical Gene for Susceptibility to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. PLOS Genetics, 2015; 11 (4): e1005094 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005094

About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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