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Hope for baldness cure

18th May 2007

Baldness could become a thing of the past thanks to a new discovery which enables hair follicles to be rejuvenated.

Humans are born with around 100,000 hair follicles, which scientists previously thought could not be replaced.

However, a gene called WNT has been identified as being able to produce new follicles.

In tests conducted on mice, it was found that by boosting the activity of the WNT gene, more hair follicles grew.

Professor Des Tobin, from the University of Bradford, said: "This paper provides convincing evidence that the skin has remarkable powers of regeneration, not just repair as previously known.

"Under the conditions peculiar to the wound-healing environment, the highly complex hair follicle can be created anew from apparently unremarkable cells of the healing epidermis and its underlying dermis," reports the BBC.

It is thought that the discovery could also be applied not just to baldness but also to the healing of wounds.