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Baldness Gene Discovered — 1 In 7 Men "At Risk" 297

Posted by timothy
from the see-wikipedia-on-caucasian_race dept.
FiReaNGeL writes "Researchers conducted a genome-wide association study of 1,125 Caucasian men who had been assessed for male pattern baldness. They found two previously unknown genetic variants on chromosome 20 that substantially increased the risk of male pattern baldness. They then confirmed these findings in an additional 1,650 Caucasian men. 'If you have both the risk variants we discovered on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on the X chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold. What's startling is that one in seven men have both of those risk variants.'" So maybe gene therapy will finally have a real purpose.
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Baldness Gene Discovered — 1 In 7 Men "At Risk"

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  • Badness? (Score:5, Funny)

    by the_arrow (171557) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:34PM (#25347459) Homepage

    I hope I'm not the only one misreading the title as "Badness gene found".

    • by CRCulver (715279)

      I hope I'm not the only one misreading the title as "Badness gene found".

      Nah, you read it right. It's like a chemical equivalent of the evil bit [wikipedia.org].

    • I hope I'm not the only one misreading the title as "Badness gene found".

      I wouldn't mind a little bad-ass gene therapy myself.

    • by Zackbass (457384)

      Well at least now that we've found the Badness Gene we finally have someone to blame for all those underfull hboxes.

    • On my XBMC RSS feed I read it as "Boldness" and was confused on why they were at risk. At risk of being awesome I guess.

    • by gparent (1242548)
      Nope, I very much prefer "Badass Gene found!"
  • No! (Score:2, Funny)

    by ksd1337 (1029386)

    This is un-American! This is going to kill jobs, because wig makers will go out of business! Damn commie scientists!

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mfnickster (182520)

      > This is un-American! This is going to kill jobs, because wig makers will go out of business!

      Good riddance. Have you *seen* some of the atrocities that these guys have perpetrated on the heads of American men..?

      Bankruptcy is too good for them!

  • by dnoyeb (547705) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:37PM (#25347483) Homepage Journal

    We could use some of that gene therapy on the 21st chromosome as well. In fact, I'd rather see work there. Though it wouldn't likely be as profitable...

    • by glwtta (532858) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @06:16PM (#25348735) Homepage
      I don't get it, what's with the random dig at "profitability"? And why chromosome 21, in particular? Every chromosomes has genes related to various diseases, all of which could use "some of that" gene therapy.

      Assuming you are talking about Down syndrome (since an Alzheimer's treatment would be stupendously profitable), that doesn't even make any sense: it's "trisomy 21", a duplication of the chromosome, and completely unrelated to gene therapy.

      All in all, a bit of a stretch, just to get in knee-jerk dig at the pharmaceutical industry, wouldn't you say?
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:46PM (#25347565)

    With a bald pate, you'd have a better platform to mount a black silicon solar cap to power your wireless cranial Internet connection. C'mon, geeks, see the possibilites here! When life hands you shit, make shit sandwiches!

    • ... Braincap or Braincop?

    • by phorm (591458)

      Ummm, and how is a shit sandwich better than shit? Are you perhaps running for government (after all, they often seem to "resolve" shitty situations by creating different forms of shitty situations).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by couchslug (175151)

      "With a bald pate, you'd have a better platform to mount a black silicon solar cap to power your wireless cranial Internet connection. C'mon, geeks, see the possibilites here! When life hands you shit, make shit sandwiches!"

      Such a cap would be incompatible with my tinfoil hat.

      As for the sandwich thing, it goes:

      "Life is a shit sandwich. The more bread you have the less shit you gotta taste."

  • 1 in 7 at risk? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:46PM (#25347567)

    My understanding (and my observation, for that matter) is that roughly 50% of men end up going bald. So how is it news that 1 in 7 men have both of these traits?

    BTW, here's a bonus hint to help you find those young guys that are already going bald - look for baseball caps being worn backward. Although a completely shaved head (on a white guy, anyway) is a dead giveaway as well, and gaining in popularity as an alternative to the baseball cap.

    • My understanding (and my observation, for that matter) is that roughly 50% of men end up going bald.

      I think that depends on what you mean by "going bald". Maybe that many men have some baldness, but for of them it seems to stop at a certain point. 1 in 7 for Jean-Luc Picard bald seems about right.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      The deal is this:
      1 in 7 males will start having significant hair loss in late teens/early twenties. 3 out 7 males will *eventually* go bald (either early or eventually assuming they make it to their 50's/60's.)

      The point of this article is that
      a) if you've got the baldness gene on the X chromosone, you're one of the 3 out 7 guys.
      b) if you *also* have the 2 variants on chromosone 20 then you're in the 1 out 7 guys who's going to lose his early and severely.
      c) if you don't have the baldness gene on the X chrom

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      BTW, here's a bonus hint to help you find those young guys that are already going bald - look for baseball caps being worn backward.

      Lol... what?
      [Citation Needed]

      Millions of people wear backwards baseball hats for their own stupid reasons.
      There's even a company [miboycaps.com] that has popped up which sells brimless baseball caps.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Golddess (1361003)

        There's even a company [miboycaps.com] that has popped up which sells brimless baseball caps.

        To quote a French teacher of mine, "you can call it bathroom tissue all you'd like, but it's still toilet paper [wikipedia.org]."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CoderBob (858156)

      Your two dead giveaways fail in the area I live in. There are a lot of backwards baseball caps worn by young guys, and more than a few shaved heads, even on white guys. I shaved my head last winter so that I could wear a stocking cap and not have to deal with not being presentable after I took it off. Trying to decide on if a person is balding based on a style choice seems a little bit of a stretch.

      • Agreed. My father and I have extremely thick, curly hair. It would be perfect for a girl but for the both of us it's torture. My father is pushing 60 and has a full head of hair. Safe to say neither of us are going bald.

        Anyway I also always wanted long "rock star" hair since I was a kid. For 10 years I had really long, thick curly hair that I spent 2 years growing in high school. I resisted cutting or changing it well into adult hood because the memories of goofy hair cuts while waiting for it to grow long

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wild_quinine (998562)

      Although a completely shaved head (on a white guy, anyway) is a dead giveaway as well, and gaining in popularity as an alternative to the baseball cap.

      I can't understand why you would pick on that? It's a perfectly reasonable choice, not the result of over-played vanity.

      There's only two options for guys who are going bald: some hair or no hair. And since 'some hair' tends to result in a comedy hairstyle which is unattractive to look at, and no hair is both distinguished and masculine, who the fuck wouldn't choose to do the latter?

    • by perlchild (582235)

      The one in seven is over the entire human race... Quite a few populations have less hair loss than caucasian males, for one.

    • It's actually closer to 27% or so for "premature" baldness... that is, guys who aren't 60 years old with thinning hair. Not that it's definitive, but here's the Wiki page on the topic.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldness [wikipedia.org]

      First paragraph gives you the numbers.

      Baldness is often cited in psych studies as one of those weird cultural perception items that people accept as very normal but which is actually more uncommon than you think.

      Next time your in a public environment look around and do a count of the 20-50

  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Sunday October 12, 2008 @03:52PM (#25347621) Journal

    About 20 years ago, I could see that I was going to go bald like my dad did, and I decided to just live with it. No drugs, plugs, or rugs.

    -jcr

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eudial (590661)

      About 20 years ago, I could see that I was going to go bald like my dad did, and I decided to just live with it. No drugs, plugs, or rugs.

      -jcr

      That really is the only dignified way to go. Nothing spells out the word pathetic as clearly as trying to conceal your baldness with a toupee or a comb over.

    • Apparently the baldness gene is inherited from your mother, so don't blame your dad but rather your grandfather (on your mothers side).
    • About 20 years ago, I could see that I was going to go bald like my dad did, and I decided to just live with it. No drugs, plugs, or rugs.

      I agree! My dad was one of the 1:7 who was clearly going bald in his late teens, early 20s. I've ended up being one of the 3:7 who have some hair loss at 31, but it's not something you notice when you see me (and I keep my hair fairly short already). I just can never grow the really long hair again that I had when I was in HS and college, which is something I wouldn't

  • by shaitand (626655) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @04:03PM (#25347723) Journal

    First they find the monogomy gene and then they find the baldness gene. How much longer before women insist on genetic pre-screening before they put out?

  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @04:04PM (#25347731)

    we all know what will happen [imdb.com] if we let our scientists focus on hair-loss

  • Sure, all research is good, but really - who as a kid thinks "I want to cure baldness"? Really, aren't there more pressing areas for research money?
  • All those cures for baldness...will we finally be rid of their purveyors? Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • by laoudji (1383755) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @04:14PM (#25347815) Homepage
    God only made so many beautiful heads; the others he covered with hair.
  • It's not a defect, it's a feature!
  • I am almost bald (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @04:42PM (#25348053)

    and I say it is a waste of money. I d not care that I am bald. I do not care if others are bald. I used to have a lot of hair. Now I don't. Started pretty you to get a higher and higher implant. I would not care if I would loose the rest or if it stays like I have it now. It only becomes an issue if you make it an issue.

    To me people who are doing comb overs, buy wigs, hairtonic, have implants and what not because they are bald are wasting their time and money. People doing studies on it should be trying to figure out not how to get hair back, but how to let people accept that they and others are bald. That would be like having a cure, instead of taking away the symptoms.

    (Obviously if you have a bad scars and such, this might be somewhat different, but I am talking about standard baldness)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Falconhell (1289630)

      This discussion reminds me of a bald friend of mine.

      He used to get all the weirdo baldness "Cures" around when he was younger(Mostly in jest).

      The funniest one he got, was a sink plunger/unblocker, with a tube of ointment. He was supposed to rub the cream in then use the plunger on his head to pull the hair up......

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I d not care that I am bald. I do not care if others are bald.

      Two things. Firstly, I'll work under the assumption that you are male. Secondly, while most people will agree with your second statement when the others are men, there is a question as to what they will think about bald women.

      But you are indeed correct. Baldness for men, while it may be initially discomforting, is perfectly acceptable in our society. It is even perfectly acceptable for a man who discovers he is going bald to shave his head comple

  • "So maybe gene therapy will finally have a real purpose."

    If you take a look at advertising, sales and profit margins, as well as how fast a drug can go from one prescribed use, through clinical testing to an entirely different use which used to be a side effect, and then on to over-the-counter sales (higher profit margins, due to no insurance discounts), you can only come to one conclusion: the most important pharmaceutical developments are directed towards boners and baldness.

    And people say women are vain.

  • I myself have eaten pretty poorly at times in my life, and that seems to be when my hair line begins to retreat the most prominently. The worst was when I weighed the least, and at 6'3" 165 lbs trying to be a vegan for the gf my hair line crawled back almost a full inch in 6 months, along with my first job; graveyard sysadmin and a few rough times in my life I have seen my hair come and go like the rest of you. The one thing that I can recommend eating 3-4 times a week is an egg, I like mine mixed with fr
    • by codepunk (167897)

      Look if you are starting to go bald you had might as well
      get used to it because no matter what you
      eat or do your hair is as good as gone.

      You will not mind being bald anyhow it makes
      life much simpler. I have my head shaved to the
      skin every month or two. No need for shampoo
      conditioner and all that crap just rub a bar
      of soap across like the rest of your body
      an you are good to go.

      • Look if you are starting to go bald you had might as well
        get used to it because no matter what you
        eat or do your hair is as good as gone.

        You will not mind being bald anyhow it makes
        life much simpler. I have my head shaved to the
        skin every month or two. No need for shampoo
        conditioner and all that crap just rub a bar
        of soap across like the rest of your body
        an you are good to go.

        I'm trying to figure out your poem. There doesn't appear to be any consistent rhythm, nor do the words for which you chose to end each line rhyme or even come close to rhyming. There's no significant use of metaphor, imagery, and so on. Can you help?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nacturation (646836) *

      Wikipedia tells me that "hair is a keratinised protein filament". Thus, if you're significantly cutting back on protein due to eating a vegetarian diet and you're not making up the difference through non-animal protein sources then your hair will likely suffer. However, I would wager that you would need to be predisposed to baldness and the lack of protein exacerbates the symptoms rather than causes them.

  • by syousef (465911) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @05:04PM (#25348237) Journal

    They need to find the genes that cause bald men to spend hundreds or even thousands on a toupee that looks like a dyed dead rat while insisting that it looks real and that people can't tell.

  • This puts us one step away from discovering how baldness leads men to become financial analysts!
  • Hair challenged, please.
  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @06:08PM (#25348671) Journal

    It's nature's way of telling a man to hurry up and settle down with a woman instead of being a playboy all his life. If you're still acting the playboy while your hairline is receding, the pressure's on to find a mate that you want to raise kids with. Hence, the baldness gene remains in the gene pool. That's my theory anyway.

    (No funny mods please, I'm being serious.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      Modern advertising is what made baldness "bad". It didn't used to matter much. Thus, your "reminder" theory is suspect.

  • by RexDevious (321791) on Monday October 13, 2008 @01:26AM (#25351883) Homepage Journal

    what's wrong with being able to have more control over it? A lot of people here have made the case that we should concentrate on accepting baldness instead of changing it. But is that so different than accepting beards instead of developing a shaver?

    Whether it's a matter of personal taste, societal standards, or inherent genetic cues - where is the downside to people having more control over how they appear visually to themselves and others?

    Yes, it's possible to go too far with this as it is with anything. Spending $300,000.00 on an outfit instead of just dressing nicely, devoting your life to the gym, or jumping into not-ready-for-prime-time plastic surgery techniques (ex: Micheal Jackson). But just because you *can* go overboard with something, doesn't mean that's your only choice.

    Frankly, where technology sits right now I think we'd be better off having stayed with powdered wigs for the time being. You get any hair style you want, and everyone does it so there's no out-cast factor. But we should be working towards having the level of genetic control over our hair that people want. Both in terms on more on our heads, and less pretty much everywhere else. There's a reason that the classic Greek statues bore zero resemblance hair-wise to either Dr. Katz or that fat guy from the Borat movie.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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