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A paper published on Tuesday in Proceedings of the National Academy of describes how researchers successfully grew human hair follicles in the laboratory using circumcised foreskins. The paper, titled “Generation of hair cells in neonatal mice by β-catenin overexpression in Lgr5-positive cochlear progenitors,” describes a process involving culturing altered human cells within tissue from the circumcised foreskins of newborns and grafting the resulting structures on to the backs of mice.

Previous studies have found that adult rodent dermal papillae (nipple-like protrusions), which control hair follicle growth, can be grown in the laboratory, transplanted into recipient skin and made to trigger new hair follicles.

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But it has taken close to 40 years to achieve similar results using lab-grown human hair follicles. The breakthrough was made by a team of researchers from Columbia University in New York and Durham University in Britain.

The paper explains that researchers opted for neonatal foreskin because it does not contain hair bearing tissue, which would conflict with the foreign human dermal papillae that control hair follicle growth “not just to contribute to hair follicles within the skin, but rather, to fully reprogram the recipient epidermis to a follicular fate.”

The paper identifies “gene switches” that control hair development in promoting human hair growth, which should lead to the creation of new drugs to treat hair loss.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Chaiya Eitan ignorant of what, chalya? what would you like me to know that i am ignoring? thanks. did you know there is no circumcision covenant in the original history of the jewish people, "The Book of J"? it was edited hundreds of years after abraham's death to include circumcision – same with the story about dinah… no mass circumcision and no massacre… also embellished.

  2. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. So what if this were baby labias and/or clitorises they were using? Then suddenly "Oh no! This is wrong!" Right?

    You know what's funny, if a man wants his foreskin back and undergoes "restoration," there is some sort of mental problem the matter with him right? But wanting a dead part of your body back, like hair, is perfectly fine, and it's OK to exploit the flesh of children to get it right? Um… HELLO???

  3. How careless of people who discard their foreskins! Do the scientists find them laying about, or perhaps in waste bins/trash cans? There is are no hair follicles on my foreskin – lol I have visions of bald guys with faking foreskins stuck to their heads! I am sure the science is good, but I'd prefer to stay the way that I am thanks.

  4. Oh no – I just realised that they use the foreskins of newly born boys – presumably without their consent ("just sign away your foreskin on the dotted line boys"). There is something vaguely unethical about that. "Discarded" now sounds like a euphemism.

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