Scientists have grown human hair in mice

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Ricky Joseph

Baldness, Androgenetic Alopecia, is a condition related to genetic, hormonal and external factors that stimulate hair loss, especially in men. There are already some treatment options, but most of them only slow hair loss and do not reverse baldness. In this sense, biologist and founder of medical startup dNovo, Ernesto Lujan, and his team grow human hairon a rodent as a new solution.

Image credit: Getty Images.

How do scientists grow human hair?

Traditionally, humans are born with all their hair stem cells, which are capable of making hair. However, various factors can destroy these cells and once they are dead, the hair strands no longer grow.

Based on this, Lujan and his team seek to transform 'normal' cells into these hair stem cells. According to the biologist, it would be like a modification in the identity of these structures, since the cells do not represent a fixed 'state'. He said, "we can push cells from one state to another".

The reprogramming of cells is also common in other areas of science. The company Altos Labs, for example, explores the rejuvenation of people with this technique of identity change, while Conception, tries to increase fertility by transforming blood cells into human eggs.

Therefore, scientists genetically modified normal skin cells and converted them into hair stem cells. After this modification, implantation of these cells into a hair-free mouse took place and, as a result, they grow human hair.

The following image shows the result of the experiment:

A close-up of a skin organoid covered with hair follicles. JIYOON LEE AND KARL KOEHLER, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

For now, some medications available in Brazil are: Minoxidil, Finasteride and Spirolactone, but of limited use. In addition, some surgeries to transplant hair from other regions of the body to the head also take place around the world.

With this, Lujan says that in the future, hair-forming cells grown in the lab can be added to a person's head with a surgery similar to the one cited above.

Despite the good results, the application of a commercial treatment with hair stem cells is far from happening. That is, numerous researches are still needed to achieve a cure for baldness.

In summary, Karl Koehler, a Harvard professor, also comments, "I think people will go a long way to get their hair back, but at first it will be a tailored process [the surgery] and very expensive."

Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.