Scientists have come up with a new way to make mice live in perpetual discomfort, by spending lots of time plucking the hairs out of the poor things. The reason being that they've found that if hair is plucked out in the right pattern and at the right density, it can cause more to grow back.
The potential mouse baldness cure works by plucking out hairs in groups. If enough are pulled from one particular region the follicles go into some sort of emergency group hug panic mode, one that's enough to, somehow, make more hair grow back in the surrounding area.
It's a bit of a risk, but if you're thinning on top, plucking out a percentage of what's left could save the day, especially if you're a mouse or at least have some mouse blood in you from one side of the family.
So if you've got some tweezers and fancy trying to replicate the experiment, the team from the University of Southern California say they plucked out 200 hairs in a circle 5 millimetres in diameter on the test mice. Doing this triggered the emergency regrow call, resulting in 1,300 new hairs growing again in response across the affected area.
Coleen's probably going to work on Wayne's temples as we speak. [New Scientist]