Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Want Hair? Baldness May Soon Be a Thing of the Past

My opinion:  I think that the research done here offers a fine approach for other researchers working on the same or similar topic.  Here, they discovered that it is not just the hair follicles that make the hair, its the cells beneath them, too!  Even in my biology class, we were just studying how specific cells carry out certain functions that others can't.  In this case, the cells probably provide the resources needed to grow hair, and other cells are incapable of doing so, at least at the same strength.  I hope that the this method proves to be effective, and that other researchers consider experimenting with cells that may aid their ultimate goal.  With that, I'd like to ask a question about baldness.  How necessary is it to recover hair?  Does this provide significant protection from the sun's harmful rays, and what are the psychological benefits?  Feel free to comment.

Closer to a Cure for Baldness

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Turning hair growth on its head — by transplanting hair follicles upside down — may provide hope for receding hairlines.
It’s one of the more vexing problems in medicine — about half of men and women over age 50 experience hair loss, from thinning of their scalp to male pattern baldness. Their options, however, are few. Medications can only slow the rate of loss, without generating lush new growth, while surgical strategies essentially move hair-growing cells from one part of the scalp to another, with varying success.
The ideal solution would be one that prompts defective hair follicles to sprout new hair, or that allows transplanted follicles to have a greater chance of laying down roots. And in new research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists led by a team at Columbia University Medical Center reveal one potentially robust way of accomplishing this feat.
Working from the knowledge that hair follicles may need just the right cellular and molecular environment to do their job, the scientists transplanted not just the hair follicles, which serve as the root for new hair growth, but the dermal papilla cells that accompany them. The key was to transplant them in a three-dimensional sphere of cells — and upside down — so that all of the cells could communicate and interact with one another to send the right signals to prompt hair growth. To test the strategy, the researchers grew dermal papilla cells from seven human donors and cloned the cells in tissue culture. After several days, they transplanted the cultured papillae between the dermis and epidermis layers of human-skin samples. The human skin was then grafted onto the back of mice. Five of the seven transplants led to hirsute patches that lasted for at least six weeks.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/10/21/closer-to-a-cure-for-baldness/#ixzz2iVYCJkXY

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