Will We Ever Cure...

The answers will comfort the shiny and sneezy, but the smelly are out of luck

BALDNESS?

Dermatologists have long known that inactive hair follicles aren't dead; they're just catatonic. Drugs like Rogaine can rouse some of them to boost hairiness by a few percentage points. But true hair regrowth has so far eluded the experts.

An experiment at Cornell's Weill Medical College, though, may hint at a real baldness cure. The key is a gene known as SHH. In embryos SHH controls brain development, but in mature animals--including humans--it governs natural on-off cycles of hair growth. And sure enough, when scientists inserted SHH into mouse hair follicles (using a common cold virus as their splicing tool),...

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