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A Boston research team has found that the process of graying hair occurs when melanocytes become depleted. A particular gene called Bcl 2 is responsible for melanocyte production. Thus people who go grey prematurely may have a mutation of this particular gene. Melanocyte cells are very hardy and have a good ability to resist such things as ultraviolet radiation. This hardiness becomes a problem in melanomas - cancerous melanocytes - as they become difficult to treat. By learning how melanocytes die naturally, researchers may be able to develop a treatment for the cancerous melanocytes. Sun exposure is the most significant risk factor for melanomas. Melanoma treatment has a good success rate if it is detected and treated early.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Yahoo News
About: Grey hair research may assist in development of melanoma cure
Date: 23 December 2004
Source: Yahoo News
Author: Randolph E. Schmid
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