Researchers have identified the mechanism for why hair goes gray with age and stress -- and in the process discovered a novel response to DNA damage in stem cells, they report in the June 12 issue of __Cell.__ It's generally thought that accumulated DNA damage is a likely culprit in aging phenotypes such as graying hair, but researchers have been unable to show a direct link, said linkurl:David Fisher;http://www2.massgeneral.org/cancer-research/profiles.aspx?id=156 chairman of the department of dermatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, who was not involved in the study. "Hair follicles are very deep," said Fisher, so it's unlikely that DNA damage would be caused by UV radiation from sunlight, for example.
In order to understand the process involved in graying hair, Emi Nishimura from the Kanazawa University in Ishikawa, Japan, and colleagues investigated the role of ionizing radiation and other chemical inducers of DNA damage on pigment stem cells...
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