A genuine breakthrough in hair loss research is a rare and wonderful thing. This particular breakthrough was so rare, and so wonderful, the three men who came up with it have been rewarded with a Nobel Prize. Best of all, it has implications for research into hair loss. We had to take a closer look.
Hair Loss Research
Research results into the causes of, and possible new cures for hair loss regularly make the news. A genuine breakthrough in hair loss research is It is a problem that will affect billions of people alive today, so little wonder.
The last decade, with all the benefits of modern bioengineering, has seen some remarkable leaps of understanding. Advances in genetics have led to a completely new picture of the underlying processes in our biology. As if we have suddenly found the manual. As we turn the pages of that manual we have made some stunning discoveries.
This latest breakthrough is up there with the best of those discoveries. It has improved enormously our grasp of how oxygen levels affect our metabolism and physiological function. An understanding that is at the cellular level.
The three, William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L, Semenza have unlocked an important secret. We have understood for centuries that oxygen was vital in converting food into energy. But just how cells can adapt to different levels of oxygen had always remained a mystery.
Their work began by looking at the EPO gene. EPO has become associated with athletes looking to improve their condition. A rise in the production of EPO is a response to low oxygen. It sees the body produce more red blood cells. From there they realised the oxygen sensing ability of the EPO gene was there in virtually all tissues.
Hair Loss Cure?
Not quite. But the fact is that the most common form of hair loss, pattern baldness, is brought on by an error in the immune system. The work of Kaelin Jr., Ratcliffe, and Semenza has given us a true understanding, for the first time, of how the immune system is fine-tuned using the system for sensing oxygen levels.
The breakthrough came as the culmination of years of work. The depth and scale of that work was such that the three have been awarded a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. You can see the details of their award here. Of course, Nobel Prizes are not awarded for effort alone. Their results will benefit research teams all over the world working on almost any part of our biology.
Hair Loss For Women
What has been achieved is an entirely new toolkit. Much work will now need to be done to fully appreciate the value of this new knowledge. The promise of greater control over our immune system is a great teaser. The possibility of a cure for so many immune disorders including hair loss just became much more real. It is a story at its very beginning and one we will continue to watch closely.
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