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.
We here at Discoblog are just about obsessed with poop stories. But today’s installment isn’t just a laughing matter, it’s record-breaking: Researchers have discovered the oldest human hair ever—between about 200,000 and 250,000 years old—and it was recovered from a white, round fossilized hyena poop in a cave in South Africa.
Getting the hair out of the hard-as-a-rock hyena dung wasn’t easy—the researchers had to use tweezers to pluck the 40 fossilized hairs. Unable to gather any DNA information from the decrepit sample, they were fortunately able to see patterns of wavy, scaly bands on the hair, which is typically seen in modern primates. In this case, the researchers said the strands looked most like human hair.
We’ll have to excuse the researchers for not reporting whether the hair was black or curly or straight or bleached blonde—these details were lost within the guts of the hyena who’d chowed down on the rotting human corpses.
Image: flickr/ patries71