Scientists Discover Deafness Gene Could lead to new treatments: study By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Oct 1, 2012 4:14 PM CDT Updated Oct 6, 2012 7:38 AM CDT 8 comments Comments Scientists have found a gene that causes deafness in babies. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Scientists have identified a gene that causes about one in 25,000 babies to be born deaf, and they hope the discovery will lead to new treatments. A protein called CIB2 is mutated in babies born with Usher syndrome type 1, who are profoundly deaf from birth and often cannot be helped by hearing aids, the Daily Mail reports. The condition causes deafness, non-syndromic hearing loss, night blindness, a loss of peripheral vision, and balance problems. "With this knowledge, we are one step closer to … possibly finding a genetic target to prevent non-syndromic deafness as well as that associated with Usher syndrome type 1," says a researcher.