A Deaf Man in Paris

A rendezvous with one of the world’s leading geneticists who first identified the hereditary causes of hearing loss.

My French is bad, and my hearing is even worse.  Two good reasons why I didn’t understand what the waiter was asking. So I fessed up.

A cliche shot of me
A cliche shot of me

“Pardonnez-moi, je suis un peu sourd.”  (Pardon me, I am a little deaf)  Second time around I understood, mainly because he was pointing at my empty glass. He was asking if I wanted another.  “Oui”.

Of course the fine wine is a great reason to visit Paris but I had another mission.

insitut-pastuer
Louis Pasteur keeps a lookout in front of the great Institute he founded.

I came to visit the Pasteur Institute and interview Professor Christine Petit, a great scientist and perhaps the world’s foremost researcher into the genetic causes of hearing loss.

In fact, Professor Petit was the first scientist to identify the genes associated with hearing loss. She remains at the forefront of research that one day, fingers crossed, will lead to genetic therapy and maybe a cure.

If that day comes perhaps I should forgo the wine and raise a glass of pasteurized milk.

Professor Petit looking for a cure.
Professor Petit looking for a cure.

Professor Petit graciously invited me and my long suffering wife into her lab to answer a few layman’s questions.

Here’s the interview (warning: it’s a very complex subject):

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