If I understand Dr. Kemp’s intentions, the answer is yes. The problem with injecting patients and waiting to see what happens is, you have to run human trials, which brings on heavy regulation and cost. Perhaps the biggest issue is, once you start the trial, you’re locked into a specific injection formulation for the length of the trial. So years can pass, and really not much gets discovered.
I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know these things for certain, but I expect transcription assays can be developed relatively cheaply these days that allow you to quickly check the cells for specific changes that you have identified as inductive traits. This way, you ensure the cells are viable prior to partaking in costly and time-consuming human trials. Of course, part of the discovery is to better identify which changes are related to lost embryonic properties.
But then, why am I recommending human trials up front? My point is, it could make sense to have some small-scale trials up front that prove the procedure works with non-expanded cells that retain their original inductive properties. This way, you already have a treatment protocol established up front, and everyone involved knows it works, and it works well. This way, the effort put into expansion can be isolated to a specific cell-set that has been shown to work. Then, all you have to do is figure out how to expand the cells in a signaling environment that retains their original properties.
This is akin to working a problem from front to back as opposed to all the studies I’ve read, which take a back to front approach of guessing which cell type might work best, taking years to figure out how to kind of expand it, and then inject it into human scalps in order to simply prove hair multiplication can work as good as minoxidil, but not much else is known. IMO, the front to back approach, in this case, speeds up and lessens the overall cost of discovery.
The way forward is to use “Agile” development practices instead of partaking in big expensive waterfall projects that often result in failure. In waterfall, you do all the discovery up front, then design the entire project, including timelines, cost, requirements, etc. By the time waterfall experiments get implemented, the requirements and design are out-of-date, and you’re hopelessly locked into moving forward exclusively using this old knowledge.
So how is agile different? It is a process of ongoing discovery coupled with continual product releases. You identify which aspects of the overall final product have high value up front and develop them first (cheaply and quickly). From this, you learn enough to develop the next most valued aspect. And so-on-and-so-forth. So an agile hair multiplication project might go something like this:
Team 1 Iteration 1: Test the top currently suspected most suitable cell types in human scalps. Record % results.
Team 2 Iteration 1: Setup transcription assay infrastructure and increase knowledge of the subject.
Team 1 Iteration 2: Based on the findings of team1 iteration 1, select the cells that led to the most hair growth and passage them one time and inject human heads. Record % results.
Team 2 Iteration 2: Study changes in the cells that occurred in passage 1 cells.
Team 1 Iteration 3: repeat iteration 2 with passage 2 cells.
Team 2 Iteration 2: Study changes in the cells that occurred in passage 2 cells.
and so on…
Of course, you don’t really need multiple studies to accomplish the above, you can study 10 passages of cells in a single experiment and discover the properties of cells that grow good hair compared to those that don’t. Now your one human study in, and you have a) proved whether or not non-passaged cells can cure baldness, b) the exact cell type that needs to be expanded in culture in able to produce a cure, and c) the transcription profile of cells that grow good hair compared to those that don’t. This would represent iteration 1 of an extremely fast moving and cost effective project.
Iteration 2 would be to run transcription assays in parallel in order to rapidly and cheaply figure out how to expand cells (identified in step 1) in culture that do no lose their inductive properties. Once this is accomplished, iteration three is to begin another human experiment , which is comprised of injecting expanded cells that have retained their inductive properties.
So now you’re two relatively cheap human experiments in, and you already have a cure. Of course, this is way easier said than done, but it provides a rough outline of the process.
I apologize to Dr. Kemp if I’m off-topic and simply speaking nonsense.