My, what, uh, nice hair you have…
Among the mutant lab mice that scientists have dreamed up, there’s a particularly funny-looking nude mouse. Now scientists have managed to make it look even more ridiculous by adding just one small tuft of black hair on its back.
Getting the hair follicles to sprout was no small feat of bioengineering. As reported in a new paper in Nature Communications, researchers took stem cells from bald mice as well as men and implanted them in the skin of the nude mice. A plastic sheath guided the growing hair through layers of the skin, and voila. The individual hairs could also stand up on their ends—just like how your body hair stands up when you’re cold–which means the bioengineered follicles even connected to the small muscle that control piloerection.
And if you ever wanted to a naked, red-eyed mouse with one tuft of black hair to stare straight into your soul, do not miss the video below.
Some bald men are willing to go to great lengths to grow hair, including paying a robot to punch holes through their scalp skin. Recently approved by the FDA, a new robot takes out tiny pieces of your flesh in order to harvest hair follicles that can then be manually implanted into your bald spots.
Dubbed the ARTAS System, this automated robot images your head to single out a follicular unit, and then uses its robotic arm to make 1 mm-diameter “dermal punches” into your scalp. It continues extracting hair follicles from parts of your head that have sufficient amounts of hair (a process known as follicular unit extraction, or FUE), and these bits of flesh and hair are then stored until a doctor implants them into your bald and thinning areas. Within a few months, these newly-planted hairs start growing just like your other ones.
At 25-years old, Pierre the penguin was starting to see his glory days as the California Academy of Sciences alpha male fade away. 25 years is a lot to ask for a species that usually only makes it to 20, and the elderly penguin had a rather awkward problem: His waterproof feathers were falling off, leaving him bald (with an “embarrassingly exposed, pale pink behind”). But the main problem wasn’t aesthetics—not that the comb-over is really an option for him—it’s that the penguin paddock is freaking cold. Heat lamps didn’t work, and the poor little guy “was unwilling to plunge into the academy’s penguin tank and ended up shivering on the sidelines while his 19 peers played in the water.”