Scientists may have discovered a new way to cure baldness: by actually growing hair. As first reported by the New York Times, Dr. Angela Christiano, hair geneticist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, has been working with researchers from Durham University in Britain to find a way to culture human papilla cells that actually stimulate hair growth. (Per Wikipedia, papilla cells “are small, nipple-like extensions” at the base of hair follicles, which give rise to actual follicles.)
They tested their theory by taking papilla cells from men undergoing hair transplant surgery, and then injecting skin grafts onto mice. But as the New York Times notes, “Not just any human skin: to put their ideas to a rigorous test, the researchers made the grafts from a type of skin that is normally 100 percent hairless — foreskins from circumcised infants.” New human follicles grew in five of the seven men in the study. So we learned one new thing today: Foreskin from brises should be donated to science.