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Hair raiser! Gene behind human baldness identified

Posted on Apr 02 2014 | IANS

New York, April 2 : In a breakthrough, scientists have identified a gene that is behind a rare balding condition called 'atrichia with papular lesions'.

The study also throws light on how to reverse this hair loss.

"The 'human hairless gene' imparts an essential role in hair biology. The particular gene functions by regulating a subset of other hair genes," explained Angela M. Christiano from Columbia University's college of physicians and surgeons.

"This molecular function may explains why mutations in the hairless gene contribute to the pathogenesis of atrichia with papular lesions," he added.

The gene could open up new opportunities for developing approaches for future prevention or treatment of skin diseases including skin cancer and rare forms of hair loss.

Humans have tried everything to keep their hair, from snake oils to spray-on bald spot solutions.

"Now, we are finally getting to the root of the problem to manipulate one of the switches that control hair growth," said Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal that published the study.

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