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Finally: A Real Cure for Baldness

Rogain was supposed to be the solution, but if that were true, why do we still so many bald men? But scientists say they really are on the verge of discovering a definitive cure for baldness, after growing hair on a bald mouse. When researchers corrected the faulty hairless gene in the rodent, his fur began to grow back.

Mice and humans share the same gene for growing and shedding hair. But when it is faulty, hair doesn't grow back normally and over time people go bald. When this gene is healthy, the hair growing process restarts.

Researcher Catherine Thompson says, "Hair is maintained through a cyclic process that includes periodic regeneration of hair follicles?The hair cycle consists of three defined stages: growth, followed by regression and rest." The key to re-growing hair on a bald scalp means disrupting the shedding stage.

Hair expert Barry Stevens says, "The thinking in the US is that there is some sort of genetic solution to hair loss. And I think eventually they will be proved right, but there is still work to do. I think it is like a giant jigsaw and pieces of research such as this will play a role."

Two out of every three men suffer some form of baldness by the time they are 50. Women are affected too, although the condition alopecia is rare. Testosterone is part of the problem?eunuchs are the only people who do not suffer from baldness. A study in 1960 of 21 men who had been castrated found that baldness was even reversed after the operation.

Baldness is a primate trait, not just a human one. Chimpanzees, stump-tailed macaques, and South American nakari also become bald.

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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