Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Getting to the bottom of goosebumps

Harvard scientists find that the same cell types that cause goosebumps are responsible for controlling hair growth

From the July 20, 2020 article at the Harvard Gazette


“If you’ve ever wondered why we get goosebumps, you’re in good company — so did Charles Darwin, who mused about them in his writings on evolution. Goosebumps might protect animals with thick fur from the cold, but we humans don’t seem to benefit from the reaction much — so why has it been preserved during evolution all this time?

In a new study, Harvard University scientists have discovered the reason: the cell types that cause goosebumps are also important for regulating the stem cells that regenerate the hair follicle and hair. Underneath the skin, the muscle that contracts to create goosebumps is necessary to bridge the sympathetic nerve’s connection to hair follicle stem cells. The sympathetic nerve reacts to cold by contracting the muscle and causing goosebumps in the short term, and by driving hair follicle stem cell activation and new hair growth over the long term.”

Read the whole summary here

July 24, 2020 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News

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