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Progress in Identifying the Gene for Baldness

A gene linked to early hair loss in mice has been identified by Japanese scientists, raising the possibility of an eventual cure for baldness, as reported in The Week. Researchers in Tokyo believe that the hair-loss gene they discovered, which causes the mice to become completely hairless shortly after birth, is similar to the human gene.

The hair loss was caused not by some problem with the hair itself but in the skin to which the hair is attached. Bald mice were missing a layered cuticle that held hair in place, preventing it from falling out. The same effect may be key to "curing" baldness in men and women. "It is entirely possible that the gene is also a cause of thinning hair among humans," study author Yumiko Saga tells the London Daily Telegraph. In theory, people with the hair-loss gene could be identified and treated before baldness begins. We'll keep you posted!
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