Rapidly advancing science of gene therapy seems to have made its foray into the hair loss industry. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have found that by manipulating a certain gene in Mice (Wnt) they were able to regenerate hair follicles. This particular gene manipulation has far reaching implications in not only regrowth of hair follicles but also in various skin conditions like acne.
The Wnt gene is essentially part of a wound healing system of the body. When the scientist removed small portions of the outer skin (epidermis) of the mice they found that the new skin that formed in this area upon healing had hair follicles. The skin grew back normally without scarring or any evidence of the trauma. The experiment was carried out with and without the Wnt gene and found that in the absence of this gene the skin didn't grow any hair follicles. This could be a promising study for those suffering with baldness and have been trying to find a solution since mice and human beings share the same gene for hair growth and hair loss.
Hair follicles develop during the early stages of pregnancy for the fetus or the unborn child. So far science has not come up with convincing reasons or solutions into hair follicle growth beyond that fetal stage. In essence what this means is that the hair follicles that you are born with are the ones that you most probably will live with. This new study could reverse that idea and this itself is cause for the scientific community to be excited about the possibilities of the genetic mechanisms of the skin.
This study not only gives balding people hope it is also a good news for people working on finding solutions to other skin problems. Acne and other skin ailments. So far the skin was thought only to have a repairing apparatus not regenerative mechanisms.
While this particular solution may take years to come into the commercial market, it still is a positive outcome of the study giving scientist cause to believe that the skin cells are more regenerative than was thought earlier. Insofar this is not the first claim, to be the miracle, that wipes out hair loss problems and baldness from the face of the earth. Nevertheless, this gives a much needed thrust for more study into the possibilities of the ability of the skin.
With an increasing interest in all areas of Genetics these advances are probably another headway into the study of what is to come, for more complex problems, faced by the human race. The ongoing studies in the human genome project can only throw more light on each and every aspect of our body and the genetic clock work that runs it.