A group of scientists led by Dr. Elaine Fuchs at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Rockefeller University have uncovered an unexpected new role for the well-known transcription factor, GATA-3, in hair follicle development. GATA-3 was previously identified for its role in coaxing hematopoietic stem cells towards a T-cell fate. Now, Dr. Fuchs and colleagues reveal that GATA-3 is also involved in epidermal stem cell specification. This finding lends valuable insight into hair follicle generation, and highlights intriguing parallels between the molecular cues that direct cell fate specification in the skin and the immune system.
Each of the roughly 5 million hair follicles that cover the adult human body has a similar structure. The hair follicle consists of a multi-layered hair shaft, the outermost layer of which is referred to as the cuticle. Below the skin surface, the cuticle is surrounded by an inner root sheath (IRS).
"The IRS acts as a channel, functioning to guide the developing hair shaft up to the skin surface. Without the channel, the hair does not develop properly," explains professor Fuchs.
Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Ambush in a petri dish
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High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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