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The cure for baldness is closer to being discovered than ever, as scientists in Japan have successfully grown human hair on hairless mice.
Led by Tokyo University of Science professor Takashi Tsuji, the team of researchers was able to bioengineer hair follicles and transplant them into the skin of the hairless mice, reported Fox News. The mice eventually grew hair, which regenerated in normal cycles after old hairs fell out.
"Our current study thus demonstrates the potential for not only hair regeneration therapy but also the realization of bioengineered organ replacement using adult somatic stem cells," said Tsuji to The Sun.
The research was started with two different types of skin stem cells, which scientists grew until they began to grow immature hair follicles that could be implanted into the mice, according to the Huffington Post. Scientists also used the same technique to grow whiskers and, within three weeks, tufts of hair sprouted on the mice.
But most significant was that scientists not only used skin stem cells from the mice themselves, but they also used human stem cells taken from the scalp of a balding man, all with the same results. According to The Wall Street Journal, scientists were even able to modify the density and color of the hair by changing the type of cells they transplanted.
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