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Mr. Clean

Joined: 16 Oct 2005
Posts: 1604

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:19 am    Post subject: Hair transplants between humans Reply with quote


Giving the gift of hair. I'm Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Dr. Amanda Reynolds keeps a close eye on her husband's hair. Which is quite easy, because it's growing on her forearm.

She and her husband are researchers at the University of Durham in the U.K. Along with Columbia University dermatologist Angela Christiano, they've developed a new hair transplant technique.

Dr. Christiano says you can't transplant whole hair follicles from person to person. That's because the immune system rejects them. But her team discovered you can transplant the follicle's dermal sheath cells. These cells seem to be protected from the immune system.

"They implanted the cells into her arm and they were able to show that using just a few cells, that they were able to induce a brand new hair follicle to grow. And even more importantly, they were able to grow an actual hair from the newly made follicle."

While this is good news for bald men, it also has broader implications. If scientists can find other cells in the body that are immune-protected, they might use similar techniques to grow back other kinds of damaged tissue.

"And I think this is the first example of that, yes, you can take just a few cells from the body and get them to generate new organs."

She says the first target may be joint cartilage in patients with arthritis.

For the American Association for the Advancement of Science, I'm Bob Hirshon.

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