Breaking news from the bioengineering front: The dNovo startup is using live mice as “farms” to grow large numbers of human hair cells. After the “harvest” is collected, these cells are transplanted to patients who have gone bald and would like to have hair again. In theory, this can solve the problem of baldness on a planetary scale – we have enough mice.
As biologist Ernesto Lucian, founder of the startup, explains, Mother Nature has treated people unfairly by not giving us any mechanism to restore lost hair. We receive a complete set of hair cells at birth, and when they die for any reason, they are no longer restored. The option of transplanting other hair cells is complicated by the shortage of donor material, and this is precisely the problem that the dNovo project is designed to solve.
The basis is taken from ordinary human skin cells, which, with the help of genetic engineering, turn into stem cells – “blanks” for future hair cells. They are introduced into the bodies of mice in order to use the resources of their body to turn these cells into full-fledged hair follicles. It remains only to grow them to the desired state and transplant them to the customer.