On Gray Hair, Stem Cells and Melanomas

Medical research often leads scientists in interesting, unexpected directions - so it is in the link between the graying of hair, stem cells and the skin cancers known as melanomas. An article at Betterhumans reports that "the loss of our youthful hues is due to the gradual dying off of adult stem cells that spawn a continuous supply of melanocytes, new pigment manufacturing cells. ... Melanoma tumors are caused by the uncontrollable growth of these cells and are hard to kill with treatment. ... what in the hair follicle is signaling the stem cells that is absent when aging occurs and the stem cells die off?" Researchers hope to be able to reproduce this mechanism of age-related death in cancerous stem cells.

Link: http://www.betterhumans.com/News/news.aspx?articleID=2004-12-23-6

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