Scientists have revealed that they have discovered a breakthrough in hair science. It is now possbile to turn mature skin cells into stem cells, which then develop into hair follicles.
This is said to be the first time that researchers have been able to transform adult cells into the certain type of stem cell that creates hair follicles.
The study, published in Nature Communications, explains how the scientists started with dermal fibroblasts or human skin cells, and then added genes that turn into pluripotent stem cells. After some genetic manipulation, these change into epithelial stem cells, which are necessary for hair follicles. These epithelial cells were transplanted on to mice and incredibly the cells grew in to human skin that grew in to human hair shafts.
However before you throw away the toupee or sweep the comb-over back in to place, it is worth noting that there are two different types of cell that are affected by hair loss. As well as the epithelial cells, hair loss also affects dermal papillae cells, which unfortunately have not been regenerated by the scientists. Not yet anyway.
The fact still remains though that this is interesting news is a step forward. The potential here could be further reaching than just those with a receding hair line. The research could be used in the future treatment of accident and burn victims.