Above, your moment of science zen for the weekend.
Using an innovative application of stem cells, researchers at the Tokyo University of Science have regenerated hair on a bald mouse. Their accomplishment is described as a breakthrough, and inspires hopes of an alternative to hair transplants for bald guys who rely on toupees and comb-overs (or as they're known in Japan, "bar codes"). From a blog post at the Wall Street Journal, by Eleanor Warnock:
After cultivating two different kinds of cells taken from hair follicles in mice, the team transplanted the cells into the hair follicles of a bald mouse. Within three weeks, 74% of the hair follicles implanted with the cells grew back hair. The new hair connected with nerves and surrounding tissues showing that the follicles had become fully functional and were able to regrow hair even after hair was pulled out.
The scientists were also able to play around with the density and color of the hair by changing the type of cells they transplanted into the mouse’s hair follicles. When they used cells from a human hair follicle, a human hair grew.
The results were published this week in the online journal Nature Communications. Jokes aside, the focus isn't so much male premature baldness, but helping people who have lost hair due to injury or disease. Not because premature baldness isn't a problem worth addressing, but because the technique at work here would be tough to apply for larger areas of hair growth. (thanks, @steppinlazer)
University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to “turn off” people’s ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope […]
Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box […]
In Rich do not rise early: spatio-temporal patterns in the mobility networks of different socio-economic classes, a group of transportation engineers analyze an open data-set about the commutes of people in the Colombian cities of Medellín and Manizales, concluding that the rich and the poor commute the furthest distances, but that the rich have much […]
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