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No Hair Works Alone—Hair Plucking and Growth

Posted 16 June 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Plucking of mouse hair is often used in the laboratory to investigate the hair cycle and sometimes to remove the pelage covering the skin before applying chemicals, drugs, ultraviolet irradiation or other components of the experimental tool box. An article by a cross-disciplinary team composed of dermatologists, stem cell biologists, developmental biologists, immunologists, mathematical biologists, and tissue engineers have worked together from diverse regions including the US, Taiwan, People’s Republic of China, and the UK. The result is a stimulating... Read more

Editors’ Picks from Experimental Dermatology

Posted 11 June 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Epidermal suction blister gene expression study suggests an influence of non pigmentary genes for the regulation of ethnic skin color   Differences in visible skin pigmentation are a major determinant of skin color associated with ethnic background. The initial goal of this study (Yin et al, 2014) performed on epidermal extracts from individuals of Caucasian, Asian, and African ancestry, was to identify differentially expressed genes with a special focus on known pigment-related genes. However, only a few of them were... Read more

Wringing Warts Till They Blister

Posted 9 June 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

For over two thousand years blistering beetles and their extracts have been used to remove noxious, noisome, persistent warts from skin. Research through 1960 (yes, before many of us were born), before keratinocyte culture, before PCR, before demonstrating autoantibodies in Pemphigus and Pemphigoid, was reviewed and worth a read, since it may yield clues pertinent even today (Bagatell & Stoughton, 1964). Fast forward to last month. At the Society for Investigative Dermatology meeting in Atlanta in May 2015, Li et... Read more

Disney Is Correct: It Is a Small World for . . . Investigating Psoriasis

Posted 3 June 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Christopher Griffiths, Head of Dermatology at the University of Manchester in the UK gave the plenary Eugene Farber lecture on "The Natural History of Psoriasis" at the Society for Investigative Dermatology annual meeting on May 7, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. I was stimulated in many dimensions:  by the excellent research and presentation style, the wonderful use of the King's/Queen's English, and the incredible organization of the UK Dermatology enterprise in generating and sharing data. The English dermatologists have developed nationwide... Read more

Reflectance Confocal Microscopy: An Elegant, Revolutionary Technique with Boundless Possibilities

Posted 14 May 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

by guest blogger Joshua Davyd Fox, University of Miami, MD class of 2016   At the 2015 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, I serendipitously discovered Reflectance Confocal Microscopy (RCM). I sat mesmerized, watching the presenters quickly flip through black-and-white mosaic images of in vivo skin at microscopic resolution in what may best be described as a fusion between radiology and dermatology. As a fly in a room filled with experts of a drastically underutilized technology, I felt as though... Read more

March is Mitochondria Month for Melanoma and Hair—A Trifecta

Posted 18 March 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Without energy, metabolism collapses; aerobic metabolism in eukaryotes requires mitochondria. In medical school, in ancient days, our study rooms displayed large charts explaining the Krebs mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle, like religious icons to be venerated . I was  imprinted with the importance of those "good & plenty"- appearing  mitochondrial organelles, and this month I am reminded of them by a trio of publications.   First was the triparental egg conceived in Great Britain (sorry for the pun) as treatment for a... Read more

Eyelash Physiology and Extensions

Posted 11 March 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

I must  confess I do not read the Journal of the Royal Society Interface regularly, but luckily, the ECONOMIST devoted two thirds of a page to describing how eyelashes work. Eyelashes were last discussed in this blog on Oct 29, 2013, showing a dogged  persistence and perseveration about this skin appendage, which is often relegated solely  to the cosmetic domain. The basic finding in the study is that the average length of the eye lashes is about one  third of... Read more

Go to College, Get a Tan, Get Melanoma (For the Lucky Ones: You Can Look Like 50 at Age 30)

Posted 29 January 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

In the university town where I live, several of the apartment complexes, where many of the students rent, provide free access to tanning beds. Wow . . . it takes a long while for the RISK/benefits of tanning to reach students. In the Jan 14, 2014 post, Guest Blogger Liza Engstrom discussed exercise clubs in our community providing tanning as an extra membership benefit .   Now, a University of North Carolina junior, Alaina Zeitany, who is majoring in nutrition,... Read more

Too Much Fat, Too Little Fat

Posted 16 January 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Everyone wants to lose weight at the beginning of the year, and fat’s role in overall metabolism is a popular topic in the scientific and popular press. I see numerous computer popups advertising how to decrease my girth. I never click. Now, Science and Arthritis and Rheumatology report intriguing physiological and pathological roles of fat, increasing our respect for and interest in the adipocyte. Bleomycin injections have been used for many years to model systemic sclerosis. Recent findings show that... Read more

Homo Celebrans Secundus — HPV Prevention: Persistence Conquers Warts

Posted 18 December 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

More celebrations of science and scientists. HPV, human papillomavirus virus vaccine has had a major effect on improving human health and preventing death from cervical cancer. The long-standing team of Douglas Lowy and John Schiller from the National Cancer Institute, NIH, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from US President Barack Obama November 20, 2014 in the White House. Doug Lowy first published on viruses in 1971; he kept studying and understanding viruses, and eventually his team developed... Read more