Recently, scientists have discovered the reason why hair turns gray and also falls out. The answers came after doing a field study with mice.
According to the study, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center accidentally stumbled upon this explanation for baldness and graying hairs—at least in mouse models—while studying a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow on nerves.
The scientists learned that a protein called KROX20 changes on skin cells that become hair, and causes the formation of another protein. In the study, the presence of both of these proteins pointed to a cause of gray hair and baldness.
“Although this project was started in an effort to understand how certain kinds of tumors form, we ended up learning why hair turns gray and discovering the identity of the cell that directly gives rise to hair,” said lead researcher Dr. Lu Le, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in a statement.
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