Hair Growth Gene Identified

Monday 31st May 2010

Scientists in Sweden have been able to identify a gene that causes and regulates hair growth. Researchers claim that activating the newly identified gene could lead to increased hair growth. It is hoped that the research could be key to developing a form of gene therapy that could cure male pattern baldness and other hair loss conditions.

The research, published in the journal PLoS Genetics, identifies the gene as Lhx2. The scientists explain that hair growth is cyclical and occurs in the hair follicle. After hair grows the follicle rests and the hair, in time, is ejected from the body and re-growth is stimulated. However, the researchers claim that the Lhx2 gene is active at formation and dormant during hair-loss indicating that it may be the key to stimulating and accelerating hair growth.

Researchers also discovered that disabling or 'turning off' the gene in hair follicles caused hair to stop growing causing experts to believe that the gene could be used to reduce excess or unwanted hair. Researchers now hope to further study the gene and hope, that in time, they may be able to develop a form of gene therapy that could be used to treat a range of hair problems.

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