Pigeons with mutilated feet are a common sight in cities — and human hair appears to be the grizzly culprit. It turns out that the greater the number of hairdressers on a city block, the more pigeons have missing toes.
By stirring crosstalk among skin cells that form the roots of hair, researchers report they have regrown hair strands on damaged skin. The findings better explain why hair does not normally grow on wounded skin, and may help in the search for better drugs to restore hair growth, said the study's authors.
Christina Pearson was 14 years old when she started pulling out her hair, creating bald patches on her head. She was taken to a psychiatrist, but in 1970 there was no name for her disorder, and certainly no treatment.
When sea creatures first began crawling and slithering onto land about 385 million years ago, they carried with them their body armor: Scales. Fossil evidence showed that the earliest land animals retained scales as a protective feature as they evolved to flourish on terra firma.