back to article Baldness fix from foreskin follicles

Boffins from America and the UK are claiming success in the decades-long hunt to create new hair follicles: they've successfully grown follicles in the lab, on circumcised foreskins. The Columbia University / Durham University group of biologists, geneticists and dermatologists took cells from newborns' foreskins, and grew …

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  1. Sir Barry

    This brings a whole new meaning to the term dickhead...

    1. Nigel Brown

      Damn

      Beat me to the dickhead pun :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Damn

        Cheesy foreheads, now there's a thought......

        1. Shooter

          Re: Damn

          Maybe they could hook up with the bagel-head people...

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagel_head

    2. Stuart Elliott

      Came for the dickhead comment

      ... wasn't disappointed. \o/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Came for the dickhead comment

        " Came for the dickhead comment ... wasn't disappointed. "

        I see what you did there!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This brings a whole new meaning to the term dickhead..."

      NO NO NO! Shoot down the obvious. Wit is required, not sh*t.

      1. Martin Budden Silver badge

        @AC 11:56 GMT

        Have you forgotten where you are? This is El Reg!

  2. Cliff

    Keep the tip

    Published at PNAS...

    Someone's had fun with this story. Not sure I want a hairy bell end but it is darn clever.

  3. NorthernCoder
    Joke

    Why..?

    But why would you want to grow hair on the end of your penis?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Why..?

      More to the point, would you want to grow your hair on the end of someone else's penis?

    2. Barry Dingle

      Re: Why..?

      For a little light dusting before the shagging.

    3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: Why..?

      But why would you want to grow hair on the end of your penis?

      To disguise it from the stupid insert word here.

  4. Captain DaFt

    Side effects?

    I mean, if you get a hair transplant from hair cultured on foreskins... What happens when someone runs their fingers through your hair? This?

  5. Ken Y-N
    WTF?

    Let me get this straight...

    ...they circumcised new-born human babies, grafted the foreskin onto a mouse, then plan to transfer the resultant hair back to an adult head?

    I'd rather continue balding, thank you very much.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Let me get this straight...

      Ugh - now I can't think of mousetraps without wincing

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re:Butchery

      They butcher new born boys and remove parts of their anatomy without permission.

      And this is allowed?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re:Butchery

        It happened to me.

        My earliest memory was having a ring of black spikes around the end of my baby knob - it wasn't until I was an adult I realised they must have been the stitches!

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Re:Butchery

          Ooh that is not nice, my comiserations.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re:Butchery

            >They butcher new born boys and remove parts of their anatomy without permission.

            Yeah, but the drastically lower rates of cervical cancer amongst the females of the culture that practices male circumcision is worth it. I've never met a circumcised bloke who feels distraught at being parted from their foreskin as a baby.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Re:Butchery

              I believe the research is a bit iffy and, anyway, washing yourself is at least as effective and more generally, sociably desirable.

              As for whether or not anyone regrets it: yes, some do. I believe that, in the USA (where else?) there is even a self-help group to overcome their unhappiness and, using weights or other stretching devices, try to restore the mutilated part. I think it used to be promoted, a Mr. Kellogg of breakfast cereal fame being especially keen, to deter boys from masturbating. It is said to be especially popular in the USA. Is there a connection?

              I find it an odd idea, that God would make men with a foreskin and then demand that it be cut away to show one's belief; but then I find it odd that God created women and then Muslims (or very extreme Catholics) demand that they be covered from head to foot.

              On the other hand circumcision can have nasty side effects, albeit in a minority of cases or if botched/made too short or whatever.

              Personally, I prefer to wash; but then I would not get myself pierced, ear lobes stretched with big holes, bugger my skin with tattoos or any other deliberate self mutilation. Nor would I inflict this in my children. Let them have it done when old enough to decide for themselves.

              Though in most cases it is a lot less drastic than female circumcision, why should boys not be protected as well? I'm sure some "scientist" will could come up with some hygiene justification for female circumcision.

      2. John Tserkezis

        Re: Butchery

        They butcher new born boys and remove parts of their anatomy without permission. And this is allowed?

        Yes.

        It's a function of the invention/task/process/whatever having roots in history that is the core reason it's still around today.

        It is said, our bicycles, motorcycles, most of the cars, road crossings you name it, would not exist today if they were invented today. Everything is so tightly wound up in legislation, safety requirements, rulings and such, that anything even vaguely unsafe would be banned before it reached the prototype stage.

        The exception is if it has rich roots in culture, religeon and basically anything embedded in history - that makes it perfectly all right.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Butchery

          Mine was done because the foreskin was too small to pass over the head of my penis so it was removed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Coat

            Re: Butchery

            So, more of a threeskin then, was it?

        2. Uffish

          History is bunk unless you learn from it.

          Just off the top of my head, the death penalty for steeling a sheep has a fairly rich history but is no longer practised and skateboarding is modern and somewhat dangerous.

          I think the real truth is that succeeding generations decide what they want to do and what they do not want to do. If they choose to do something purely because they feel the weight of history on them - more fool them.

      3. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: Re:Butchery

        "They butcher new born boys and remove parts of their anatomy without permission.

        And this is allowed?"

        95% of women would rather hook up with a fireman, than a sock puppet.

  6. frank ly
    Coat

    re. circumcised foreskins

    I was going to say that it wasn't the foreskins that were circumcised....... then I realised that it actually was. This is what happens when you get too logical and analytical before breakfast.

    1. DAN*tastik

      Re: re. circumcised foreskins

      You thought there were men letting scientists get on with their foreskin experiments while it is still attached to them? You must be a very brave man ( I am assuming you are one because of the name you used )

  7. jake Silver badge

    Who the hell cares?

    If I start losing my hair, my hair starts going away.

    I don't have an issue with that. I'm not vain.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Who the hell cares?

      As a lucky person of hair, I would rather be grey than dye it.

      But if I went bald I do not know what I would do, but I would not bother having operations. Even though I am 75% grey..

      1. Law

        Re: Who the hell cares?

        The hair doesn't fall out over night - usually if you're going to go bald you normally have some sort of warning via family members losing theirs too, basically you come to terms with it way before it's gone.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Who the hell cares?

          The hair doesn't fall out over night - usually if you're going to go bald you normally have some sort of warning via family members losing theirs too, basically you come to terms with it way before it's gone.

          My maternal grandfather had hair until he died in his 80s

          1. jake Silver badge

            @MJI (was: Re: Who the hell cares?)

            I'm about 25% gray, mid fifties.

            My maternal Grampa had a full head of hair when he checked out, at age 98. Most folks don't know that male hair-loss/!loss generally follows the genetics of the maternal grandfather.

        2. Martin Budden Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Who the hell cares?

          The hair doesn't fall out over night

          Guys lose their hair root by root.

  8. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Happy

    Bald

    Never understood what the problem with baldness is. I'm not bald but from time to time I shaved my head. Women like it. If it's too cold put a hat on. It's that simple.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Bald

      "Women like it"

      My wife has promised threatened to leave me if I go bald - she says I will have to have a wig.

      I've been tempted just to shave it all off anyway.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Bald

        Well whenever my wife comments on the grey I mention I at least still have some then point at her grey bits

      2. John Tserkezis

        Re: Bald

        "My wife has promised threatened to leave me if I go bald - she says I will have to have a wig."

        I feel I need to give my 2c worth here. Wigs won't make a damn of difference.

        I'm shaven bald, and last time were were out, a family member roped me into wearing a really, really bad wig from a $2 shop as a stir for friends we were meeting with later.

        It was cold that night, so I left it on, and interfaced with people on the street, shop keepers and other customers, food places when we went to eat, and with the exception of those who knew me, no-one said anything. No inuendo, no minor comments, no glances - this monstrosity of plastic fake hair was worse than those three-hair comb-overs, but no-one pulled me aside to say "hey dude, you need to so something with that hair". Nothing.

        My conclusion is that the ONLY person who doesn't like hair, boobs, penis etc, is the owner of said organ or appendage. Everyone else really doesn't give a crap. As such, regardless if your wife claims to leave you for your hair, she won't. Or if I'm wrong and she does, then oops, that's what you get for listening to idiots on the interwebs.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon

          Re: Bald

          "As such, regardless if your wife claims to leave you for your hair, she won't. Or if I'm wrong and she does, then oops, that's what you get for listening to idiots on the interwebs."

          There would be no 'oops' required. My mother rang earlier today to ask us what we were doing for our anniversary. I looked at my watch..the 22nd Oct..oh shit, it's tomorrow! My wife had forgotten too.

          We basically pissed ourselves laughing that only my mother remembered :)

          (11 years in case you weren't wondering)

  9. Andy Roid McUser

    when I'm dead

    They'll on get my foreskin when they prise it from my cold dead hands

    1. Steven Raith
      Joke

      Re: when I'm dead

      Remember kids, auto-erotic asphyxiation is a dangerous game!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: when I'm dead

        I have a mate whose nickname was 'Bluebell', because he was considered to be a tight-fisted wanker.

        1. Wize
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: when I'm dead

          @AC - 'bluebell'

          You owe me a new keyboard.

  10. Khaptain Silver badge

    Short and curly crowd

    It would make it easy to recognize those that had the transplant. Simply look for the the group with short and curlies on the heads.....

    I feel sorry for those that already have short and curly hair....

  11. russell 6

    Smeghead if they don't wash daily

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easier method

    Saying these are technically pubes why not go straight for it. Shaves your balls and prit stick your head

  13. Parax

    On waking after the op...

    No Doctor, I wanted it on my forehead!

  14. John Tserkezis

    <scarcasm>Once they nail penil enlargement and erectile issues, the medical industry can pack up shop because there is nothing left on the face of the planet they need fo fix.</scarcasm>

    1. MJI Silver badge

      that operation causes some

      Of those issues.

  15. Don Jefe

    Shattered Dreams

    I wonder how many of the researchers pictured themselves growing hair on the amputated penis parts of newborns when they were up for five straight months writing then defending their thesis?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Women like it."

    Women love it! I'm always fondled.

    Those with "VO5" hair hate it, mistakingly thinking they have an advantage. My advice to them stop using products and a hair dryer and shave it off like a "real man".

    My sister buys products for her hair and spends ages with dryers/tongs/straighteners and the bollox.

    No more need be said.

    1. Rande Knight

      "My sister buys products for her hair and spends ages with dryers/tongs/straighteners and the bollox."

      You sister spends ages with her bolloxs?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It said "the" bollox, implying they weren't hers. Curious, though, since I wouldn't let anyone near my bollox with dryers/tongs/straighteners

        1. Don Jefe
          Joke

          So my girlfriend walked in on me blow drying my crotch. She asked what I was doing: 'Heating your dinner' was not the correct answer.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Hair is not much work

      shampoo when I shower, towel it a bit, it will dry OK, get it cut when it gets annoying

  17. herman Silver badge

    Problem is that this will only work for guys with hairy todgers...

  18. Anonymous Cowherder

    I don't want hair back.

    I've been balding for the last 20 years, I've been shaving my head for the last 25 and I am happy with the situation. I wouldn't know what to do with hair if I had any.

  19. scrubber

    "donor samples"

    In both legal and medical terminology a donor* must voluntarily give whatever thing is being donated. I would strongly suggest that none of the foreskins used here were voluntarily surrendered by their owners.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/donor:

    2. (Medicine) Med any person who voluntarily gives blood, skin, a kidney etc., for use in the treatment of another person

    3. (Law) Law

    a. a person who makes a gift of property

    b. a person who bestows upon another a power of appointment over property

    *Okay, in organ donation the next of kin gets to make the legal decision as the donor is not legally able to make that decision.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: "donor samples"

      The medical research community is granted access to 'medical waste' for research purposes and no consent is required. I would strongly suggest unattached foreskins qualify as waste under any reasonable circumstance.

      Part of my inner ear was carted off for research. I wanted to keep the bones but was told they were already gone by the time I woke up from surgery.

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: they were already gone

        You have to tell the surgeon before the procedure if you want to keep any bits.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a friggin' waste of time and money -- as if being a baldy trumps friggin' cancer or some such. Vanity sucks.

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: What a friggin' waste

      It's possible that knowledge gained from this sort of procedure could help in other areas, such as reconstruction following burns or cancer.

  21. Dave 126 Silver badge

    "Warning: Do not put on knob or bollocks"

    The Amazon customer reviews for 'Veet for men' are a comic goldmine, and occiasional poetry:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000KKNQBK

    Like a lot of reviewers, I decided that a tidy up was in order after noticing Stephen and the twins looked not unlike Gandalf in a thunderstorm. Being somewhat worried about waving sharp blades near my gentlemens mechanicals, this stuff seemed like a good bet.

    Should anyone wish to experience a similar level of pain, I suggest lowering your love spuds into a pan of boiling cillit bang, whilst getting a friend or colleague to roughly insert a pineapple into the suntanned cyclops using a six pound sledgehammer and a good run up.

    or

    Excellent product. Most prisoners confessed within five minutes of the first application. Can recommend.

    Yours,

    Ali Muhabarakah,

    Secret Police, Damascus

  22. Tom 7

    Does this mean I get to look like I'd had a really shit transplant then

    I mean, if a man with as much lucre as Elton John can look like he bought a dodgy syrup in the pub toilet when the lights were off and glued it on badly I can only conclude that either all transplant surgeons are shit and conmen or that should I decide to get rid of my bald patch I am somehow obliged to do it in a way that provides more amusement to those with nothing better to worry about than the bald patch did in the first place.

  23. Mage Silver badge

    Newborn

    Maybe it was newborn mice. Does it say humans?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You'll take my foreskin from my cold dead hand.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dammit, somebody got that joak in before me.

  25. hi_robb

    Errr.

    This is worth celebrating so I'm off to the pube, sorry pub!

    But a couple of thoughts before I do...

    1: Does this mean in future that you won't get head lice, you'll get head crabs?

    2: It certainly puts a whole new spin on the "just going to get my hair snipped" saying.

    3: does it mean we have to call 'mohicans' 'brazillians' now?

    3: do helmets now need to be called something else!!!!

    /Gets coat and calls taxi

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re:Head Crab

      Aghhh - where is my crow bar?

      Gordon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Alan Ferris
    Paris Hilton

    But when she stokes my thinning scalp....

    ... will I suddenly need a haircut?

  27. Keithjw

    No jokes about the "drawbacks" reagrding this new technique?

  28. Matthew Hale

    PNAS??

    Really??

    Is it April? Did I miss something?

  29. Rastus

    Does this mean that if they had a scalp massage, they'd grow taller for a few minutes?

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. MrDamage Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Enquiring minds need to know

    When it gets cold, do their foreheads shrivel up and resemble scrote-skin?

    If they continue to go bald after this treatment, how difficult is it to perform a comb-over with short'n'curlies?

    Will Durex now come out with a range of hair products?

    Will shaving your head now be referred to as "getting an upper brazilian"?

    Which head will massage therapists rub for the obligatory happy ending?

    Will consumption of Viagra lead to mass sightings of Coneheads that will drive UFO conspiracy theorists nuts (no pun intended)

    Will Trey Parker and Matt Stone claim Prior Art (www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnOmQ7CdOXw)

    <- Paris, cos she would know a thing or two about foreskins.

  32. vidura

    stiff neck

    only when I get excited.

  33. norman

    I don't care if I am bald,

    If the answer to baldness is chopping my pecker, I'll want to be bald.

  34. Tom 11

    I don't think I'm ever going to stop laughing....

    This article is and everything it implies is pure gold, the imagery in my head is never going to fade.

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