Researchers ID baldness gene in mice

May 26, 2009 A Japanese research team found that the absence of a gene known as SOX21 can lead to early hair loss.

When scientists biologically engineered mice by blocking the gen, the rodents started losing hair about two weeks after birth.

Although the mice started to grow new fur, it also kept falling out.

Researchers concluded that the lack of the gene leads to the improper formation of the outer layer of hair, which locks the hair into the scalp. Without it, hair falls out more quickly.

Doctors hope this study leads to a medical treatment against baldness.

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