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Scientists from the University of California have figured out how to resurrect hair follicles


Biologists from the University of California have found that TGF-beta protein is necessary for hair follicle stem cells to divide, but its excess leads to their death. The study was published in the journal Journal of Biophysics.

Most cells in the human body have strictly defined forms and functions that are determined during embryonic development. For example, a blood cell cannot turn into a nerve cell and vice versa, unlike stem cells. They are responsible for the regeneration of the human body, including the growth of new hair. In addition, hair follicles are the only part of the human body that regularly and automatically regenerates even without any injury (liver and stomach regenerate in response to damage).

Researchers found that TGF-beta protein controls the division process of cells in hair follicles, including stem cells. In this case, excess protein triggers the death of follicle cells. No one knows exactly why the follicles kill themselves. Some hypotheses suggest this is an inherited trait from animals that shed fur or try to hide themselves to survive the hot summer temperatures.

“Even when a hair follicle kills itself, it never destroys the stem cell store. If the surviving stem cells receive a signal to regenerate, they begin to divide, form new cells and form a new follicle,” said Qixuan Wang, a mathematician and biologist at the University of California, Riverside, and co-author of the study.

Further investigation of this protein will not only save millions of people from baldness, but also “tame” stem cells for self-healing wounds.

Source: Gazeta



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