Scientists develop gene to end baldness

Scientists develop gene to end baldness

Scientists develop gene to end baldness

Pragna Patel of University of Southern California and colleagues have, in fact, tracked down a ‘genetic fault’ which is behind a rare condition called hyper-trichosis, or werewolf syndrome, where thick hair covers the face and upper body.

Werewolf syndrome is extremely rare, with only 50 recorded cases in the past 300 years. Men with the condition have hair all over their face, including eyelids, and upper bodies. Women tend to just have hair in patches. In their study, the scientists, working with a team of researchers from Beijing, discovered the gene in a Mexican family and Chinese family who both had the condition — known in the medical world as CGH, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

Prof Patel said certain genes appeared to have been “turned on”, which may trigger the excessive hair growth. Now, the scientists say they may be able to use drugs to trigger a similar gene mutation in people to encourage hair to grow on bald patches. However, the scientists stressed that tackling baldness was still many years away as they do not yet know how they would be able to trigger hair to grow in bald patches without causing excessive growth all over the body.

But, Prof Patel added: “If in fact the inserted sequences turn on a gene that can trigger hair growth, it may hold promise for treating baldness.”

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