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Skin stem cells give hairless mice hair

l. We just need to tweak it to the point where we can get such results consistently," she said.

Importantly, said Fuchs, the stem cells they isolated showed a molecular signature of gene activity that demonstrates their "stemness." Such characteristics, she said, represent the beginning of a broader effort to compare the genes activated in many stem cell types, to understand the factors that control their proliferation and differentiation.

"The information that we have now on the 'stemness' genes is allowing us to narrow in on some of the similarities among stem cells of the body," she said. "I believe this profiling information will ultimately give us some very good clues as to how stem cells respond to various external cues. And this information will help us understand how we can coax stem cells down one specific lineage or another in culture."

The findings also emphasize the promise that such studies hold for the treatment of such skin disorders as ulcers or injury, as well as the generation of hair follicles from stem cells, she said.


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Contact: Jennifer Michalowski
michalow@hhmi.org
301-215-8576
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
2-Sep-2004


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