Please note that the original version of this post on CRISPR babies Lulu and Nana was written in 2018. It can be read below this update. Also see the wiki on the “He Jiankui Affair“. Our interest in CRISPR gene editing is focused on its potential use to cure hair loss.
Update: February 5, 2023 — Scientist who edited babies’ genes says he acted too quickly. And his ghost is still haunting geneticists at conferences.
Update: February 1, 2023
Dr. He Jiankui is out of Prison
Dr. He Jiankui joined Twitter a few months ago after coming out of prison. He just gave an encouraging update on Lulu and Nana that I have embedded below. I hope this is not a fake account! So far, it sounds legitimate. Mr. Jiankui wants to resume experimenting in the lab. Also, whatever happened to Scott (see bottom half of this post)?
Lulu and Nana were not killed or sterilized, they are living happily with their parents now.
— Jiankui He (@Jiankui_He) January 22, 2023
— Happy New Year from his family.
November 26, 2018
Lulu and Nana
Huge news from China, where scientists claim to have used CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically modify human babies for the first time in history. The two female babies are named Lulu and Nana. Not sure what to think about the ethics of all this as yet, but I like what Dr. Jiankui He has to say about genes not defining you:
“Our DNA does not predetermine our purpose or what we could achieve. We flourish from our own hard work, nutrition, and support from society and our loved ones. Whatever our genes may be, we are equal in dignity and potential.”
In this particular case, the volunteer fathers all have HIV and they want to make sure that their progeny do not suffer from the terrible disease of AIDS. One article on this tory is titled: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies. The scientists plan is to eliminate a gene called CCR5, so as to ensure that the human offspring are then resistant to HIV (as well as smallpox and cholera).
Note that some media reports are placing doubt on the accuracy of these claims and the methodology used.
Update: Dr. George Church seems to think that this is for real:
“I have been in contact with the Shenzhen team and have seen the data. The sequencing assays used are generally unambiguous, especially when done in multiple cell types at different developmental stages and in two children. Is the genie really out of the bottle? Yes.”
First Gene Edited Babies Claimed in China
The below video (and associated story) from the He Lab’s YouTube channel has caused much global controversy.
November 24, 2018
Scott Tries a New Hair System
I was thinking of adding Scott’s latest video about his new hair system to my original lengthy post on his hair system. However, there are already three other videos on there, including a before one. So I am adding it below. I like this hair system better than the first one.
56 thoughts on “Lulu and Nana and Scott”
I think the 2 systems looked the same in person, but this video has caught it better, maybe due to better lighting. I am not a camera expert. But this is why I also believe that a video should be the minimum standard of proof and not a still image. Even people in Africa have phones that can take video; there is no excuse besides deceit.
Thanks a lot for your contribution to the forum
I really appreaciate it and share your perspective on future treatments
I want to ask you if you think using a hairpiece damages your native hair underneath it
I still have a decent head of hair, however its not what it used to be and I cannot style it as much, I was wondering, if I get a hairpiece in the future to improve aesthetics, will it make my natural hair worse? Or there’s nothing to worry about?
@Pepe given that the existing hair still grows underneath it, no it does not damages it. When people started wearing hats hundreds of years ago in London there was an urban myth that it made you go bald, but in the end proved nonsense.
But the more hair you have, the more itchiness and looseness you may experience in the last week of the system’s life. So if I were you I would instead look into hair thickeners.
Scott. You should look at systems that have a better hairline for your age. You have a 10 year old boy shaggy no hairline now.
Look at the hair experience on YouTube. He’s got a good hairlines.
Sue, No “hair system” hairline looks completely natural unless you’re a famous millionaire with a team of experts on it every day (and even these can still look fake in actual Hollywood movies). Even with perfection achieved, sweat is still the enemy, and I know of several very famous musicians who will never show their wig’s hairline onstage. One famous latin “heart throb” just wears a baseball cap the entire concert.
To have a mature style shorter haircut with a wig, where a fake hairline is not exposed each and every day in all conditions, is incredibly challenging.
Most people wear a wig so that people think they have hair and might find them more attractive as a result. To not care whether everyone knows is certainly an advantage psychologically (to not hide a big secret), but that’d completely defeat the purpose for me. Also, when people know it’s fake, they tend to stare at it and count it against you in the attractiveness department (and it’d be a daily joke in my professional world).
Anyway, I envy you for not caring! I see that you’re starting to realize the drawbacks with maintenance requirements like the fact that you can’t get sweaty (which will lead to you avoiding many situations in life). There are plenty of physical activities that involve sweat (including exercise and intimacy), so it’s sad to have to avoid some of the more fun experiences just for a hair system.
Do you have a full bond or perimeter bond?? I found that the full bond was similar to wrapping your entire scalp with saran wrap and elmer’s glue for weeks, and I couldn’t handle that grossness. I also found it’d smell if I ate garlic food or exercised. I’ve found the best type of system is full lace (completely breathable, permeable) with “perimeter bond”. That way, my higher pressure shower nozzle completely rinses through it, down to my scalp, each day. The perimeter back and sides uses a medical grade adhesive (almost like clear plastic) that bonds to my hair, so it stays clean and doesn’t dissolve with sweat whatsoever after many weeks. I basically swap out hairline adhesive (glue or tape) as frequently as I feel like, so that it stays clean after sweaty activities. Also, being able to remove/replace front adhesive myself means I can clean underneath the whole system in the shower if I want to (toothbrush works great). Cleanliness is key. Anyway, I strongly prefer perimeter bond with fully permeable lace system for cleanliness and breathability.
And so, having fake hair is a huge pain that I’d have given up a looong time ago if I didn’t have giant FUT surgery scars on the sides and back of my head that require covering. Without that, I would’ve just shaven my head 10 years ago. There is no possible way to conceal my scars in a normal looking way, so I’m stuck.
I have experimented with SMP, and that would’ve been a beautiful solution had it not been for my surgery scars. SMP cannot fix them unfortunately.
Hair system maintenance is a huge drag in my private life, but at least I look nice at work, and pretty ladies still flirt with me. I admit to enjoying looking good after the effort! Good luck!
I DO NOT avoid sweat or physical activity. Please see the other videos on my channel. I do free-running :-)
Outside training tends to not cause too much sweat for the system. As the indoor weight training at home, I just apply an ice pack after the set.
My mistake. I thought I heard you say that fake hair wasn’t good for hot environments due to the sweat breaking down adhesive (which is absolutely true)
Anyway, like I said, consider the permeable lace system with permanent perimeter bond and changeable adhesive in front. They are much cooler and cleaner. Take care!
Scott. Applying an ice pack after weight training sounds like avoiding sweat to me. You’re definitely conscious of the issue.
It is a workaround while I do the physical activity, rather than avoid the physical activity.
Hi admin and others,
A bit off topic but wanted your thoughts on 2 things –
1) Any news from Shiseido and Tsuji? From what I understand they presented results over the weekend.
2) I want to try Trinov, but after realizing it lowers DHT (most likely systemically) I’m worried I’ll run into the same issues I had with Finasteride. Any reports on this?
A topic of importance; but very far away.
Attention to nearby products and treatments to treat baldness and its effectiveness is very important.
Hi Scott, pleased that hair systems still working for you. I have been seriously considering hair systems but am very nervous. A couple of questions: you mention having a new system every seven weeks or so. Presumably this is because they are all lace due to your sports? Not sure I could afford this. Most clinics I have been to say a PU plus lace system can last around ten months to a year with good care? I wonder if some guys get into debt with all the costs that are involved. I have budgeted around 3k a year 4K tops), which I hope will be sufficient. I know some guys do their own maintenance but am not confident enough. Also, after wearing for the first week or so, do you forget you have it on, or does it always feel as if something is stuck to your head? Best wishes Alan
@AlanJ I would not be okay doing my own maintenance. The system is glued on. It lasts 8 weeks and at the half way point at week 4 I go in to get it taken off, shaved underneath, then re-glued so it lasts another 4 weeks.
For the first 2 weeks, you don’t feel it; unless the weather is hot. It’s like a baseball cap on your head all the time. In winter it would be useful, in summer you would be itching.
Your budget is enough if you do what I suggest. I am guessing the 3-4k is in US dollars. That would be enough for 2 systems, fitted and styled by a pro and 2 systems x 8 weeks would therefore last 16 weeks; 4 months. Do this for the coldest 4 months of your region. Then for the rest shave your hair off. I make enough money to wear one all year and our summers in the UK are not as hot, but I still do this.
Firstly. even people with hair shave it off or go really short in summer. Trust me, when you get hair back it is a pain! Secondly, once you have worn one and see how good it looks and you know you can then get this hair back whenever you want it, it’s not so bad being bald anymore. You won’t become a hair addict that goes broke, you will instead embrace the best of both seasons. Hair in winter, shed in summer.
Thanks Scott. I’d love to shave my head, but it is completely the wrong shape and I would look awful: believe me! If I go for a hair system it will need to be permanent. But concerned what you say about hot weather and itching, but get the impression most people who have hair systems keep them all year around. Could it be that your itching in hot weather is related to your outdoor sports and physical activity? This wouldn’t be an issue for me. But a very humid summer is a worry. But am getting desperate and there is no alternative as far as am concerned, except perhaps permanently wearing hats, which isn’t a great prospect.
Any news from shiseido?? It seems it’s over ☹ the people in HLT ate talking about that..
I am disappointed..
I don’t think they know over there at HLT. They are just assuming based on some clinical trial termination of recruitment or something. We’ll find out in due time. However, phase 1 showed 5 years of maintenance and great safety results. That in its own should be good enough for market release. I would think phase two would give the same results or better right? Even if it only gives maintainance I would still use it and get fue. Better to inject scalp once every few years than apply minox every day.
Maintainance is great now when i still have hair.. after 2 years maybe there will be nothing to maintain.. pray for market release!!
So true. People get down if something doesn’t regrow a NW 4 or 5 back to a NW 1 or 2, but I don’t think they think about how miraculous a true maintenance treatment without serious side effects would be. Any man with a NW 3-4 or less could be “cured” with a maintenance treatment and FUE.
I actually am more excited about a treatment that truly maintains with no side effects than I am about Tsuji. Even with unlimited hair grafts, one would need to continually replace all the endogenous, “bad” hair with the resistant hair, until all the hair was transplanted hair, and therefore DHT-resistant, and not going to fall out. This process would take years, not to mention many ones of thousands of dollars.
Not so if the hair is maintained – just fix the damage with one or two FUEs and you’re good for life. If Replicel’s technology truly does maintain and is released in 2019, I will use it, have FUE, and be done with it all.
Agreed hopeless girl. Us women can’t get her hair a system. We need something and quick. I probably have a year before I start to become super noticeable. I have tried PRP, and it neveR worked and I got a reaction after one of the treatments that I am still suffering from. I know that in this lifetime, there will be something, but we need it now. How can scientists do so much, and still not figure out the solution with hair. All these phases for tests are a little much as well. The process can move along faster for sure.
New study from Pennsylvania. WNT Inhibitor Protein called DKK2 (Dickkopf 2) lets grow Hair in formerly Hairless Skin like Palms….
New research out of New York. We won’t see this anytime soon but progress is progress.
It seems that regrowing hair is like trying to regrow a limb that’s been cut off “and that’s NOT an easy thing to do”.
IL-6 cytokine is the end result that leads to all baldness (androgenetic and otherwise). This is why some JAKs work for aa and will most likely work for AGA.
is there any scientific proofs to support this theory? AGA is still a mistery thesedays
Didn’t JAK already fail for aga? I thought AA patients who used jak still didnt get their temple area cured.
A JAK oral medication will be a disaster for ones immune system .
If they can’t get an effective jak topical it will not be an option.
If you are willing to screw with your immune system then you will have bigger issues than hair loss in a real hurry .
It will make propecia look like tic tacs
@Stu some people are desperate. They would eat dog food if someone claimed they grew a single hair back.
@scott With desperate you mean getting 2 transplant and a hair system?
That’s not desperate, that’s utilizing the only 2 things that work. Go put some onions and dog poo on your head and let us know how many follicles you gain :-)
Off topic sort of. Anybody here derma stamp once a week and loss ground? I’ve been derma stamping once a week and minox on the right side top of my scalp where it’s much more diffuse. Hair line to crown. My hair is much worse. I think I induce shock loss. I’m going to stop because it’s making things much worse in just a month. I’m using 1.5mm. Anybody have a similar issue..hoping my hair grows back. Stopping stamping for now.
I use a dermapen: once a week for first four weeks and now every two weeks at 1.5mm. I’ve seen improvement but I don’t use anything else on my head until 24 hrs later. I’ve also been using Hair Care Serum from Skin Actives, which I think has helped the shedding (and it’s not expensive). I am female though, so this info could be worthless to you.
No I am using dermapen and minox. Only been doing for a month with no loss. If anything my hair has gotten darker. But that could be all in my head. Also I am using 2 mm.
MJones, I used a derma pen for well over a year using every combination I could think of (from shallow depths of 1+ up to 2), a range of 120 channels per cm up to 1,000 (estimated based on channels per second and time used), every week vs. every other………..with no results. My doctor says he hasn’t seen results in any of his patients either. I can’t say it caused any loss but I can’t say it didn’t as I have continued to slowly, steadily regress. I did listen to a very informative youtube piece a while back that touches on micro-needling causing loss you might view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVqhZY2HTYk Basically, the take away is that it can cause shock/inflammation loss if done in areas of density but will not likely damage the follicles or cause permanent loss. It suggests that it induces vellus hair growth and if it is helpful, it would be limited to areas where there is little hair already.
@MJones I used a micro pen for well over a year using every variable I could think of (depths ranging from 1+ to 2; 120 channels per cm to over 1,000 channels per cm; every week vs, every other week) with zero results. I can’t say it caused any loss I just know it didn’t help as I continued with slow gradual regression. My doctor also said he had seen no results in his patients. The best, most credible analysis I have seen regarding micro-needling for hair is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVqhZY2HTYk The basic take away is that micro-needling can cause breakage and shock/inflammation loss in areas of density but won’t likely permanently damage your follicles, can grow vellus hairs, and if effective is more likely to be so in areas with little visible hair.
One that may have been missed – in June there was a positive update on the phase III p3074 topical finasteride trial by Almirall (who acquired Polichem in 2016). The trial ended earlier this year.
“top-line results of phase III of P3074 (androgenic alopecia) were also encouraging (statistical significance of the primary end-point change of TAHC (target area hair count at week 24)”
There’s no mention of how well they were able to minimise systemic DHT impact (which is the rationale behind it), though a small, 1 week study of the product in 2016 was encouraging. I’d like to see what happens to systemic DHT beyond 1 week (does the product just slow the rate of fall vs oral, or can it keep the floor above a good level?).
When I attempted to replicate using a DIY version (without the hydroxypropyl-chitosan, which one of their other studies suggests improves absorption around 10%), I started to see small numbers of strong new hairs growing in my mid-scalp from 8-12 months, and no sides (this was after my previous failed attempts in earlier years with much smaller micro dosing).
But it was too little too late for this to make significant difference, so I then got a hair transplant. I still use my DIY version to hopefully preserve the remaining hair and yet-to-be-balding areas.
Very interesting Greg. But I am now hoping someone comes out with topical Dutasteride!
Thanks everyone for the reply. I don’t have any bald spots as I am a diffuse thinner, but I did needle in the areas with thinner density up to my thin hair line. It has thinned within the month of needling. Derma stamp. I think it’s definitely shock loss. The one positive is that my scalp pain, burn is totally gone. Scalp feels healthier but took a toll on my hair line and right side top scalp where I needle. Anyone else have a thinner right side half top of scalp from hair line to crown? I am strongly considering fue for right side hair line. I have thick frizzy coarse hair so luckily I won’t need many grafts to show fullnes. Maybe 400 or less. I’m afraid of shockloss since I’m diffuse.
Sadly, I have come to the end of the road. Though I will still follow the various threads on “cures”, my hair situation is now so bad that I have decided to go for my first hair system. I’d love to shave my head, but the shape makes this unthinkable. I tried 12.5% minox with the London Belgravia clinic, but all it has done is rapidly accelerated my thinning. It is either a hair system, living the rest of my life under hats, or ending it all. I live in hope that one day hair printing will come to the rescue (would love to know how L’Oreal is getting on), or some sort of stem cell technology: though as I doubt I will have enough healthy follicles in a few years I think this is going to have to be via pluripotent cells. Once that is achieved then, subject to cost, the evil disease of baldness should be a thing of the past. Just hope I live to see it.
Sorry to hear thats… ist’s painful… We need a cure soon!!!
I feel you Alan!
@ Alan J …
fully understand you! Stay positive! We are as close as never before! … did Belgravia offer other Treatments as well? Are they expensive? I was thinking about a longer Holiday in London for Treatment as well. I love London anyway! :-)
I was already on Fin, so didn’t need that from them. They offered all sorts of vitamins and head massages, which I decided not to take. The minoxidil cream at 12.5% comes with some sort of acid which is supposed to block DHT. A six months course is around £350. Although the leaflet they give you does mention it, they don’t expressly tell you about possible additional shedding. As I have little hair left, this has left me quite distressed. It would have gone anyway I think as Fin alone is not working for me. As I say, I think printing or (perhaps more likely) some sort of stem cell technology is the only way I will get my hair back. So with regard to Belgravia, if you want Fin you can get it on line. And I would not bother with all the add- ons. If you want a year’s course of their super minox plus the acid (which comes in a cream to apply once a day at night) then you are looking at somewhere between six and seven hundred. Hope this is helpful.
Further to my comment above, have been advised that I can just manage a topper for a hair system. My great worry is that my side and back hair is getting very thin and in a few years I may need a full cap. Grateful if any full cap wearers that read this could put my mind at rest on one issue. I have quite a lot of neck stiffness that requires me to move my neck from side to side each day to loosen up. Am concerned that if I need a full cap this may prove difficult due to the way the tape bonds the system at the nape of the neck. Does anyone have any experience of this? As I say, I don’t need a full cap at present but likely to in the future and this is a major concern for me. Many thanks.
@AlanJ your comments remind me of someone I met when I was having my hair system done. I don’t wear mine all the time, everyone knows I hardly have hair. But this guy next to me had been wearing them for 10 years without a break, nobody in his life knew, and finally; he is a high school teacher! Those kids would eat him alive if they ever knew. If it works for him then it should work for you.
Hi Scott. Do you wear a full cap then? As I say, would be interested in hearing from someone who does as to neck movement, and how restricting it is (if at all). Wish I had more hair around the horseshoe; though if I did i’d probably go for a transplant.
It does not restrict neck movement at all. It’s not a baseball helmet :-) You can feel a slight press on it though if you lay flat on your back, not that it damages it. But then again, physiotherapists tell us to sleep on our side anyway; better for the spine.
Scott, thanks for responding. It is the tape at the base of the system i.e. above the neck at the back of the head, which I had in mind. I have read that it (i.e. the tape) can restrict the way you turn your head or move it forward. Doesn’t sound as if this is an issue for you (?) Perhaps it is simply a question of making sure the tape is not too low i.e. that it is still positioned at the bottom of the skull and not lower? But not too low as to leave hair flapping around. Sorry to get so specific, but this issue is really worrying me as am sure I will need a full cap in the near future and with my neck issues I wonder how I would cope. It is really helpful to get an insight from an actual user. All best wishes. Alan
How old are u Alan J?
Hi Greg, I am almost 58. Been loosing my hair very gradually since I was 24. Have horseshoe hair, but it is thinned out and weak. The clinic I have been to says I have just enough to get away with a topper; but I doubt I will have many years before this no longer works and I will need a full cap. The downside to that seem to be expense and that they are more fiddly to fit and remove. As I say, a particular concern I have is the tape at the back which goes with the full cap, and that I can retain good neck movement without dislodging the tape, as I suffer a lot with a stiff neck. Am probably worrying unnecessarily, but would be good to get an insight from a full cap wearer. My ideal is to remove and clean once a week. Would also like to know how long this takes. Thanks
58! I am 37 and lost most of my hair by the time I was 28, not that this is a competition I want to win :-)
Go bald and get some tattoos and go to the gym looking old and mean. Scare us young guys :-)
I’d love to shave my head, I really would. But aside from being cursed with extensive hair loss, I am also cursed with having a head that looks really odd bald. My skull goes up and up into a sort of lump, which is not even symmetrical! Didn’t matter with hair, but sure does now. Being 58 doesn’t mean you still don’t want to look good (hell, I’d settle for looking like a normal bald guy); and for me it’s either going to be a hair piece, or spending the rest of my life under some sort of head wear. Now that I no longer work I can at least contemplate that in a way that would not have been the case a couple of years back. I can only live in hope of some sort of meaningful hair loss breakthrough before am too old to enjoy it. When I started to bald at 24 I really thought there’d be a complete cure by now. That said, there have never been so many promising “cures” in the pipeline. Can’t come fast enough….
the edited babies makes me feel very uncomfortable. can’t believe it’s even possible!
From Wikipedia. While He was variously referred to as a “rogue scientist”, “China’s Dr Frankenstein”, and a “mad genius”, George Church, a geneticist at Harvard University, described him as the sacrificial lamb for gene editing “willing to be the martyr that came first.” George Church sounds like a pussy. You wanna know why we don’t have breakthroughs? it’s because we have too many people like George Church In academic institutions and at FDA! I’m not for the communist Chinese but it pisses me off.
Mr. Jiankui just liked my reply to his Tweet:
I think he is the actual guy.
More than 200 people have now been treated with CRISPR-based therapies in clinical trials: