Body Hack XXII: Using Gene Therapy To Cure Baldness

In the same article Cosmetic Gene Therapy’s Thorny Traits which was written back in 1997, the writer Rick Weiss notes that the branch of genetic engineering or biomedical engineering known as gene therapy would help not just people who wish to change the color of their skin but also cure an affliction that is exhibited by many men.

It seems that gene therapy can be used to cure baldness.

From the article… Potential Gene Therapy for Baldness

A cream could carry hair growth genes in laboratory-made bubbles called “liposomes.”

1. Cream would be rubbed into the scalp.

2. Liposomes would be absorbed into the skin, where they bind to dormant hair follicle cells and release their genetic payload.

3. Genes would enter follicle cells and turn on hair growth machinery. Hair would continue to grow for as long as the new genes continue to function inside cells.

SOURCE: Anticancer Inc.

A San Diego company that specializes in getting genes into hair follicles already is developing a gene-laden lotion that would be rubbed into the scalp to reverse baldness. It’s also experimenting with genes that will make gray hair grow dark again and to make straight hair grow curly — a truly permanent permanen

“Genetic enhancement is going to happen,” said University of Southern California gene therapist W. French Anderson. “Congress is not going to pass a law keeping you from curing baldness.”

The article itself was not written to show people who feel bad about themselves how to use breakthrough technologies to give themselves cosmetic enhancements, but to question the ethics of using some types of biomedical technologies.

Note: Since this is a website dedicated to doing research on the science of height increase, we have to talk first about how to apply the principles of biomedical engineering and genetic engineering to help children , and possibly adults, increase in height and what that might mean.

The issue of height is a sensitive subject for people like baldness. Both issues revolve around the fact that humans care a lot about their appearances. Most people want to be taller, and most people don’t wish to loss the hair on their head. When people end up shorter, or become bald, most people would believe that they became less attractive.

For men, being both short and bald can greatly decrease one’s reproductive chances and reproductive opportunities.

However, I can say with confidence that curing baldness will be much easier than finding a way to increase height. If we analyze how hairs originate and the locations where they originate in, we realize that all that is needed is a germinal hair follicle that needs to get stimulated.

I may not know enough gene therapy yet, but I could suspect that something as simple as the application of a cream in the scalp of bald people with hair follicles and stem cells inside would cause the right cells to go on the area of baldness. Then a growth factor (maybe follicle stimulating hormone should be used???) is added to get the germ cell to start to replicate and grow out in the right direction.  From tissue engineering principles, it is possible to just grow a layer of skin with hair on it, and then graft that skin to the scalp. There is a lot of ideas and proposed ways to treat hair loss.

There is actually a lot of options these days for guys (and girls) who have insecurities and issues with their hair loss and want some type of option.

The article that is referenced showed that even back in 1997, there were companies coming out that would be able to cure baldness. Using the technology of gene therapy, they would even be able to knock out the genes in an adult male that is causing baldness and get replaced with genes that result in thick, lush hair. For more information on how the basic process of gene therapy works, refer to the Wikipedia article on Gene Therapy.

For baldness, it might be completely cured for the entire human race within a century if we really wanted to implement gene manipulation.

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