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Australia enters HM race - 14 Jun 09


#1

Clone wars coming to a head
14 Jun 09

Professor Rod Sinclair and his colleagues have been growing hair follicle cultures at their lab. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

Stephen Cauchi
June 14, 2009
YEAH, yeah, it’s cloned hair. Melbourne scientists are trying to cure baldness once and for all by using stem cells to grow a potentially endless supply of new hair.

If successful, cloning would overcome the shortcomings in existing hair-loss treatments.

Hair transplant surgery, for example, can redistribute hair over balding areas but does not create new hair. Drugs such as minoxidil and finasteride can stop balding in men, but can’t reverse it and need to be taken indefinitely. Other options tend to involve fake hair, including “yeah, yeah” Shane Warne hair, which is a technically advanced hairpiece.

Scientists from St Vincent’s Hospital and Melbourne University, headed by St Vincent’s dermatology director Rod Sinclair, have extracted adult stem cells from hair follicles and are trying to coax them to spawn new hair follicles in a culture dish.

“We’ve now got three stem cell scientists in our department working on hair follicle stem cells,” said Professor Sinclair. “They’re working out what’s involved in cloning hair follicles for hair transplantation.”

That’s harder than it sounds. A full hair, including its follicle, is an entire organ by itself. The body will reject hair transplanted from somebody else, just as it will reject other transplanted organs.

Professor Sinclair said the stem cells were extracted from the base of the hair follicle, the dermal papilla.

“You can dissect out a tiny ball of about 3000 cells. If you put that ball into a culture dish, that ball will flatten out into a thin sheet of cells,” Professor Sinclair explained.

Ideally, that sheet of cells should “aggregate to form new balls (so) you can take out those balls and reimplant them to form new hairs”.

Unfortunately, he said, the sheet of cells was only producing one ball instead of many balls.

“The state of play at the moment is that I can cut some hairs off the back of your head, grow them in culture, and get enough back to replace the hairs that I took from the back of your head. We can’t amplify them to produce more hairs. That’s the problem,” he said.

The other major challenge is implanting the baby hair follicles back into the skin once that’s done. "You have to put the stem cells in a scaffold, insert the scaffold into the skin, the scaffold makes the hair follicle grow in the right orientation and direction, and then disintegrates … Just growing a hair is not enough.

“You want one that grows in the right direction with the right colour and curl and wave so that it looks natural.”

Professor Sinclair’s group is one of a number of research bodies in the world investigating hair cloning, each using a slightly different method.

British group Intercytex reported last June that early trials in humans had proved promising, with some of the subjects regrowing hair. “What Intercytex are doing is very similar to what we’re doing but I think they have a lot of problems trying to get the cells to reaggregate,” Professor Sinclair said

Other baldness research is focused on trying to re-invigorate the hair follicles that shrink on top of the head and cause baldness in the first place. Scientists are trying to pin down the genes that cause baldness with the goal of blocking their expression in young men who have those genes.

Intercytex got a rush of male volunteers for its clinical trials. But if the follically challenged have thoughts about being guinea pigs for St Vincent’s, be patient. Animal trials, due in about a year, must come first.

Researchers are currently using scalp tissue that has been discarded from people undergoing surgery.

“It would be possible to start animal implantation experiments in one to two years, but human experiments are at least three to five years away,” said Professor Sinclair.

So, by 2020, will the age-old baldness problem be licked permanently — at least for those who can afford it? “Yes, it’s a possibility.”


#2

Cure for baldness may lie in stem cells
14 Jun 09

Stephen Cauchi
June 14, 2009

AUSTRALIAN scientists are trying to clone hair by using stem cells in research that could lead to a cure for baldness.

All other treatments for hair-loss have problems. Hair transplant surgery redistributes hair but does not create new hair. Drugs such as minoxidil and finasteride stop balding as long as they are taken but can’t reverse it. And treatments such as Shane Warne’s “Yeah, yeah” hair involve hairpieces.

Scientists from St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and Melbourne University, led by the hospital’s dermatology director, Rod Sinclair, have extracted adult stem cells from hair follicles and are trying to coax them to spawn new hair follicles in a culture dish.

“We’ve now got three stem cell scientists in our department working on hair follicle stem cells,” Professor Sinclair said.

Just as the body rejects other transplanted organs, so it rejects transplanted hair - a full hair, including its follicle, is an organ in itself.

Professor Sinclair said the stem cells were extracted from the base of the hair follicle. “You can dissect out a tiny ball of about 3000 cells. If you put that ball into a culture dish that ball will flatten out into a thin sheet of cells.”

Ideally, that sheet of cells should “aggregate to form new balls [so] you can take out those balls and reimplant them to form new hairs.” But the sheet of cells was producing one ball instead of many, he said.

“The state of play at the moment is that I can cut some hairs off the back of your head, grow them in culture, and get enough back to replace the hairs that I took from the back of your head. We can’t amplify them to produce more hairs. That’s the problem.”

The other challenge is implanting the baby hair follicles. "You have to put the stem cells in a scaffold, insert the scaffold into the skin, the scaffold makes the hair follicle grow in the right orientation and direction, and then disintegrates.

“Growing a hair is not enough. You want one that grows in the right direction with the right colour and curl and wave so that it looks natural.” Professor Sinclair’s group is one of several research bodies investigating hair cloning.

The British group Intercytex reported last June that trials in humans had proved promising, with some of the subjects regrowing hair.

“What Intercytex are doing is very similar to what we’re doing, but I think they have a lot of problems trying to get the cells to reaggregate,” Professor Sinclair said.

Other research is focused on trying to reinvigorate follicles that shrink on top of the head and cause baldness in the first place.

Scientists are also trying to pin down the genes that cause baldness.


#3

its the old story we have heard 10 years ago:surprised:


#4

They say it doesn’t work. They can multiply just by 1. So it doesn’t work.
Then what is the purpose of the animal trials? I don’t get it.
Besides, they are not using STEM CELLS, but just the good old DERMAL PAPILLA cells.

» Clone
» wars coming to a head

» 14 Jun 09
»
»
» Professor Rod Sinclair and his colleagues have been growing hair follicle
» cultures at their lab. Photo: Craig Sillitoe
»
» Stephen Cauchi
» June 14, 2009
» YEAH, yeah, it’s cloned hair. Melbourne scientists are trying to cure
» baldness once and for all by using stem cells to grow a potentially endless
» supply of new hair.
»
» If successful, cloning would overcome the shortcomings in existing
» hair-loss treatments.
»
» Hair transplant surgery, for example, can redistribute hair over balding
» areas but does not create new hair. Drugs such as minoxidil and finasteride
» can stop balding in men, but can’t reverse it and need to be taken
» indefinitely. Other options tend to involve fake hair, including “yeah,
» yeah” Shane Warne hair, which is a technically advanced hairpiece.
»
» Scientists from St Vincent’s Hospital and Melbourne University, headed by
» St Vincent’s dermatology director Rod Sinclair, have extracted adult stem
» cells from hair follicles and are trying to coax them to spawn new hair
» follicles in a culture dish.
»
» “We’ve now got three stem cell scientists in our department working on
» hair follicle stem cells,” said Professor Sinclair. “They’re working out
» what’s involved in cloning hair follicles for hair transplantation.”
»
» That’s harder than it sounds. A full hair, including its follicle, is an
» entire organ by itself. The body will reject hair transplanted from
» somebody else, just as it will reject other transplanted organs.
»
» Professor Sinclair said the stem cells were extracted from the base of the
» hair follicle, the dermal papilla.
»
» “You can dissect out a tiny ball of about 3000 cells. If you put that ball
» into a culture dish, that ball will flatten out into a thin sheet of
» cells,” Professor Sinclair explained.
»
» Ideally, that sheet of cells should “aggregate to form new balls (so) you
» can take out those balls and reimplant them to form new hairs”.
»
» Unfortunately, he said, the sheet of cells was only producing one ball
» instead of many balls.
»
» “The state of play at the moment is that I can cut some hairs off the back
» of your head, grow them in culture, and get enough back to replace the
» hairs that I took from the back of your head. We can’t amplify them to
» produce more hairs. That’s the problem,” he said.
»
» The other major challenge is implanting the baby hair follicles back into
» the skin once that’s done. "You have to put the stem cells in a scaffold,
» insert the scaffold into the skin, the scaffold makes the hair follicle
» grow in the right orientation and direction, and then disintegrates … Just
» growing a hair is not enough.
»
» “You want one that grows in the right direction with the right colour and
» curl and wave so that it looks natural.”
»
» Professor Sinclair’s group is one of a number of research bodies in the
» world investigating hair cloning, each using a slightly different method.
»
» British group Intercytex reported last June that early trials in humans
» had proved promising, with some of the subjects regrowing hair. “What
» Intercytex are doing is very similar to what we’re doing but I think they
» have a lot of problems trying to get the cells to reaggregate,” Professor
» Sinclair said
»
» Other baldness research is focused on trying to re-invigorate the hair
» follicles that shrink on top of the head and cause baldness in the first
» place. Scientists are trying to pin down the genes that cause baldness with
» the goal of blocking their expression in young men who have those genes.
»
» Intercytex got a rush of male volunteers for its clinical trials. But if
» the follically challenged have thoughts about being guinea pigs for St
» Vincent’s, be patient. Animal trials, due in about a year, must come
» first.
»
» Researchers are currently using scalp tissue that has been discarded from
» people undergoing surgery.
»
» “It would be possible to start animal implantation experiments in one to
» two years, but human experiments are at least three to five years away,”
» said Professor Sinclair.
»
» So, by 2020, will the age-old baldness problem be licked permanently — at
» least for those who can afford it? “Yes, it’s a possibility.”


#5

» So, by 2020, will the age-old baldness problem be licked permanently — at
» least for those who can afford it? “Yes, it’s a possibility.”

10 years is the new “5 years” lol.

I actually hope that Follica’s protocol works rather than true cloned HM. Really, all that cloned HM allows is to greatly enhance traditional HTs, which is to say, you’d still have to undergo an invasive, painful, bloody, and labor-intensive (and therefor, very expensive) procedure. Follica-like procedures are far more elegant, less invasive, and the results should be better than mega-session, HM-enhanced HTs.


#6

efff that shi* 2020 my as*, in the last ten years we have only managed to advance ourselves technologically. medical research is always going to be just that, research it will never materialize into an actual cure for anything. by 2020 welll probably only figure out a new way to store our music


#7

» efff that shi* 2020 my as*, in the last ten years we have only managed to
» advance ourselves technologically. medical research is always going to be
» just that, research it will never materialize into an actual cure for
» anything. by 2020 welll probably only figure out a new way to store our
» music

The fact that every company trying to clone follicles is using DP cells is a good sign. They’re all trying different variations of the same thing. They’re onto something, and sooner or later one of them will make it work. The company that gets there first will make obscene amounts of money; there is incentive to get it done quickly.


#8

» The fact that every company trying to clone follicles is using DP cells is
» a good sign. They’re all trying different variations of the same thing.
» They’re onto something, and sooner or later one of them will make it work.
» The company that gets there first will make obscene amounts of money; there
» is incentive to get it done quickly.

I agree with you Clayshaw.


#9

» I agree with you (too) Clayshaw. in 2030 we will have this company in the market.:smiley: