Skin

04 December 2008

Baldness remedy = stem cells?

Scientists have figured out how to use stem cells to make bald mice grow hair, which they say could ultimately lead to a similar treatment for people.

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Scientists have figured out how to use stem cells to make bald mice grow hair, which they say could ultimately lead to a similar treatment for people.

University of Pennsylvania researchers, reporting in the April issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology, say they used so-called "blank-slate" stem cells. This type of stem cell differs from embryonic cells - harvested from live human embryos that are destroyed in the process - that have sparked a political debate in the United States.

In this experiment, by contrast, "blank-slate" stem cells were taken from the hair follicles of other adult mice and implanted into the bald mice, the Associated Press reports. The study appears to confirm what scientists had suspected for years - that the "blank-slate" stem cells give most people a full head of hair for life, the wire service says.

About $1 billion (R6,7 billion) a year is spent in the United States combating baldness, the AP reports. But even with their latest research, a cure for people may still be several years away, the scientists caution. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
I want to avoid going bald

 

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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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