18/04/2012 14:08 BST

Scientists Claim That This Hairless Mouse Holds Key To Baldness Cure

Scientists from the Tsuji Lab Research Institute for Science and Technology at Tokyo University of Science believe they may have discovered the cure for baldness that has long baffled experts (and 7m follically-challenged men) – and it’s all down to this tuft of hair that has sprouted from a bald mouse.

Japanese researchers investigated whether stem cells could create pigmented hair follicles by testing on a group of bald-bred lab mice.

Scientists started by growing two different types of skin stem cells until they began to grow immature hair follicles and then implanted them into the mice.

Within three weeks, the mice began to sprout tufts of hair. Scientists later used the same stem cell technique to grow whiskers.

More significantly, scientists also used human stem cells (obtained from the scalp of a balding male) during the study, and had the same result as when they used stem cells from mice.

The research team hope their positive findings could lead to effective baldness treatment on humans in as little as three years.

“We expect that our technologies will help to restore colour to grey hair. We think that the person's natural colour will be reproduced by our technology in the future,” a spokesperson from the study said in a statement.

This breakthrough follows a separate study by the University of Pennsylvania, which claimed to have found the root of the problem that causes baldness – and a way to treat it.

After analysing the potential biological causes of male baldness, scientists discovered high levels of a key protein, called prostaglandin D synthase (PDG2), present in bald areas of the scalp. This protein was not located in any ‘hairier’ areas on the body.

Drugs designed to block PGD2 have already been created to treat asthma, but scientists are hoping that they could be used to treat male baldness within the next five years.

Take a look at our round-up of gorgeous bald celebrity men who have no problem embracing their hairless heads...

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Watch a video featuring the bald mouse here...