Scientists may have finally discovered a cure for baldness. Yes, snake oil salesmen have been offering spurious "guaranteed" hair-loss treatments for generations, but a professor in Germany, Roland Lauster, may have come up with a fool-proof method — using stem cells. Here, a brief guide:
How will this cure for baldness work?
Lauster, a scientist at Berlin Technical University, says he's been able to regrow hair follicles from stem cells — the body's multipurpose cells that can be grown into any tissue in the human body. Such cells may be implanted onto the scalp, say researchers, so that dead follicles can be resurrected, and baldness consigned to the scrapheap of history.
Great. Where do I sign up?
Unfortunately, you'll have a wait. So far, scientists have only achieved this feat in mice, but Lauster says it could be available for humans within five years. The treatment, researchers say, could offer relief to 80 percent of people who suffer hair loss — including, possibly, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is rumored to be growing his hair long to cover a rapidly-expanding bald spot.
Wait, weren't there reports of miracle baldness cures earlier this year?
Yes, scientists claimed in July that a cure was in sight thanks to the discovery of a genetic link to hair loss. And a company called Histogen has a hair growth stimulant in the works that is being held up by a lawsuit. Whoever comes up with a guaranteed cure could make a fortune — the hair loss industry is estimated to be worth $1 billion a year.
Sources: Fox News, ANI, Nature
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- Secret Service stretched mission to protect employee, report finds
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
Subscribe to the Week