An interesting week in hair loss, with the highlight being a 3D printed comb to regrow hair.
3D Printed Comb to Treat Hair Loss
— An update on the 3D printed comb to treat hair loss from Technion University in Israel. The user injects the comb device with an enzyme that triggers bacteria on the scalp to secrete a substance that breaks down dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Both the comb and syringe are designed to be reusable.
— 3D Printing of hair fibers. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (US) have devised an groundbreaking new method for creating lifelike hair fibers. The only requirement is an inexpensive fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer.
— I discussed the important work of the Rendl Lab and Dr. Michael Rendl a few months ago. Several weeks ago, it was announced that Dr. Rendl’s team have created an online database that will allow researchers to study the interactions between hair follicles, stem cells and their surrounding environment. This database is called Hair-GEL (gene expression library). It is worth playing around with this database even if like myself you do not understand or recognize the names of most of the relevant genes. This sort of open source project is extremely encouraging.
— Christopher1 on Hairsite has been testing out topical Tofacitinib to tackle his hair loss (as well as his vitiligo per another of his posts). Worth bookmarking that thread, but do not emulate him. Too risky in my opinion.
And now on to medical items of interest:
— A great new face transplant success story about ex-firefighter Patrick Hardison. He also got new hair and I wonder if it will grow as long as the original stellar hair from the donor? The most interesting quote in the article is the following:
“Of the roughly 30 patients who have received partial or full face transplants, Rodriguez said some three to five patients have died after rejection.”
I was unaware of this fact and had assumed that nobody ever died from these procedures. I thought the worst case scenario was that the new face would be rejected (without any death). Or that in the long run someone would have a higher chance of getting cancer and other medical problems due to taking the anti-rejection/ immunosuppressive medications for years. Hopefully these death rates become zero as scientists gain more knowledge with each new patient. And perhaps in the future it might also no longer be necessary to take immunosuppressants.
— The heart is just a pump. My father recently needed to get two stents put into an artery after a heart attack, so this subject is especially interesting to me.
— Interesting CRISPR related articles are now being published on an almost daily basis and it is hard for me to only pick 1 or 2 every month. The best one was published today and includes interviews with some of the world’s leading geneticists. The New Yorker had a good one this week titled “Gene Hackers“. Editas Medicine will commence CRISPR gene editing trials to treat a rare form of blindness in 2017.
— And finally, a new TED video on DNA editing from CRISPR co-pioneer Jennifer Doudna.