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The bad news: scalp stem cells are malfunctioning. The good news: they're still there.

Scientists Report Finding Cause of Male Pattern Baldness

It turns out stem cells may save our skins after all—or at least our scalps. According to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the mystery of what causes male pattern baldness is a mystery no more.

Pattern baldness, say the researchers, results from a failure of the stem cells in the scalp to produce the right kind of hair—namely, the kind you can actually see and feel. Instead they start producing microscopic hairs that no amount of blow-drying can puff up to a manly pouffe.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the stem cells are present and accounted for, raising hopes that a topical medication might be developed to restore the cells to their former hair-raising manliness. “The fact that there are normal numbers of stem cells in [a] bald scalp gives us hope for reactivating those stem cells,” said lead researcher Dr. George Cotsarelis of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

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