Scientists have come up with the news many men and women have been praying for - a cure for baldness could be on the way!
They have managed to create new hair cells on the skin of mice, after identifying a mechanism that allows dormant genes to re-awaken.
The researchers believe the findings could “open a window” for new treatments not only for baldness, but for other aspects of wound healing and regeneration. They found mice regenerated hair at the site of a deep skin wound via molecular processes similar to those used in embryonic development. According to the research, published in the journal Nature, the findings show mammals possess greater regenerative abilities than commonly believed. While some amphibians can regenerate limbs and some reptiles can regenerate tails, regeneration in mammals is far more limited.
Dr George Cotsarelis, of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, who led the study, said the findings dispelled the dogma that hair loss is permanent in people and other mammals, and once they are lost new hair follicles cannot grow. In the mice, the hair was indistinguishable from neighbouring hair with a key exception - it lacked pigmentation and was white. The otherwise brown-haired mice had patches of white hair marking the site of the wound. But Dr Cotsarelis said the white hair issue might not be a problem for any baldness remedy in people, because the human pigmentation system differs from that in mice.