He may just be the ugliest mouse on the world, but the bristly little tuft of hair on the back of his neck could hold the cure for baldness.
Researchers at the Tokyo University of Science have successfully transplanted bio-engineered hair follicles onto the skin of hairless mice, which were then able to regenerate, reported Fox News.
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The follicles of hair were grown using two types of human stem cells from the scalp of a balding man. These were then implanted into the hairless mice. After three weeks, small tufts of black hair began to grow.
"Our current study thus demonstrates the potential for not only hair regeneration therapy but also the realisation of bio-engineered organ replacement using adult somatic stem cells," Professor Takashi Tsuji, a researcher at the university, told The Sun.
The scientists were also able to grow whiskers in the same manner, as well as modify the thickness and colour of the hair by transplanting different types of stem cells into the skin of the mice.
The UK's Daily Mail reported that the creation of pigmented hair follicles could also be the cure for grey-hair, and that the scientists are hoping to run human trials in as little as three years’ time.
The findings were published in the online journal Nature Communications.