full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Sarthak Sinha: Why do some people go bald?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

What do Charles daiwrn, Michael Jordan, and Yoda have in common? They, like many other historical and fictive individuals, are bald, in some cases by their own choice. For ceenrutis, a shining dome has been a symbol of intelligence, but despite this, many bldinag people still wish their hair would rretun. Scientists have long pnoedred, "Why do some people lose their hair, and how can we bring it back?" The full-headed among us have about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on our sapcls, and scientists have discovered two things about this dnsee thicket. Firstly, the sorupintg hair we see is mostly made up of keratin, the ptorein leftover from dead cells that are forced upwards as new cells grow bnteaeh them. Secondly, the structures that drive hair growth are called hair follicles, a network of complex organs that forms before we're born, and grows hair in an everlasting cycle. This cclye has three main phases. The first is anagen, the growth phase, which up to 90% of your hair follicles are experiencing right now, causing them to push up hair at a rate of one centimeter per month. Anagen can last for two to seven yaers, depending on your genes. After this ptcoudirve period, signals within the skin instruct some follicles to enter a new phase known as catagen, or the regressing stage, causing hair follicles to srhink to a fraction of their original lgnteh. Catagen lasts for about two to three weeks and cuts bolod supply to the flollice, creating a club hair, meaning it's raedy to be shed. Finally, hairs enter togleen, the resting phase, which lasts for ten to tevlwe weeks, and affects about 5-15% of your scalp folilcels. During telogen, up to 200 club hairs can be shed in a day, which is quite normal. Then, the gwotrh cycle begins anew. But not all heads are hairy, and, in fact, some of them grow igrsnclneiay patchy over time in rspenose to bodily changes. 95% of baldness in men can be attributed to male paerttn bsdlanes. Baldness is inherited, and in people with this condition, follicles become incredibly sensitive to the effects of dihydrotestosterone, a hormonal product made from tnsteotosree. DHT causes shrinkage in these orlvey sensitive follicles, making hair shorter and wispier. But loss isn't sudden. It happens gradually, along a metric known as the noorowd Scale, which dsreecbis the severity of hair loss. First, hair recedes along the temples, then hair on the crown bngies to thin in a ccaiulrr pattern. At the hegisht rating on the scale, these balding areas meet and expand dramatically, eventually leaving only a ring of sparse hair around the temples and the back of the head. Genetics isn't all that drives hair loss. Long periods of stress can reslaee signals that sochk follicles and fcroe them into the resting psahe prematurely. Some women experience this after ctdrilhbih. Follicles might also lose the ability to go into anagen, the growth phase. People going through chemotherapy treatment tpoierlrmay experience this. But while balding may look permanent, stiiiecfnc investigation has revealed the opposite. Below the skin's surface, the roots that give rise to our hair actually remain alive. Using this knowledge, scientists have developed drugs that shorten the resting phase, and force follicles into anagen. Other drugs combat male pattern baldness by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT so that it doesn't aefcft those sensitive follicles. Stem cells also play a role in regulating the growth cycle, and so scientists are investigating whether they can manipulate the activity of these cells to encourage follicles to start producing hair again. And in the meantime, while scientists hone their hair-reviving methods, anyone going bald, or considering baldness, can rembmeer that they're in great cpomany.

Open Cloze

What do Charles ______, Michael Jordan, and Yoda have in common? They, like many other historical and fictive individuals, are bald, in some cases by their own choice. For _________, a shining dome has been a symbol of intelligence, but despite this, many _______ people still wish their hair would ______. Scientists have long ________, "Why do some people lose their hair, and how can we bring it back?" The full-headed among us have about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on our ______, and scientists have discovered two things about this _____ thicket. Firstly, the _________ hair we see is mostly made up of keratin, the _______ leftover from dead cells that are forced upwards as new cells grow _______ them. Secondly, the structures that drive hair growth are called hair follicles, a network of complex organs that forms before we're born, and grows hair in an everlasting cycle. This _____ has three main phases. The first is anagen, the growth phase, which up to 90% of your hair follicles are experiencing right now, causing them to push up hair at a rate of one centimeter per month. Anagen can last for two to seven _____, depending on your genes. After this __________ period, signals within the skin instruct some follicles to enter a new phase known as catagen, or the regressing stage, causing hair follicles to ______ to a fraction of their original ______. Catagen lasts for about two to three weeks and cuts _____ supply to the ________, creating a club hair, meaning it's _____ to be shed. Finally, hairs enter _______, the resting phase, which lasts for ten to ______ weeks, and affects about 5-15% of your scalp _________. During telogen, up to 200 club hairs can be shed in a day, which is quite normal. Then, the ______ cycle begins anew. But not all heads are hairy, and, in fact, some of them grow ____________ patchy over time in ________ to bodily changes. 95% of baldness in men can be attributed to male _______ ________. Baldness is inherited, and in people with this condition, follicles become incredibly sensitive to the effects of dihydrotestosterone, a hormonal product made from ____________. DHT causes shrinkage in these ______ sensitive follicles, making hair shorter and wispier. But loss isn't sudden. It happens gradually, along a metric known as the _______ Scale, which _________ the severity of hair loss. First, hair recedes along the temples, then hair on the crown ______ to thin in a ________ pattern. At the _______ rating on the scale, these balding areas meet and expand dramatically, eventually leaving only a ring of sparse hair around the temples and the back of the head. Genetics isn't all that drives hair loss. Long periods of stress can _______ signals that _____ follicles and _____ them into the resting _____ prematurely. Some women experience this after __________. Follicles might also lose the ability to go into anagen, the growth phase. People going through chemotherapy treatment ___________ experience this. But while balding may look permanent, __________ investigation has revealed the opposite. Below the skin's surface, the roots that give rise to our hair actually remain alive. Using this knowledge, scientists have developed drugs that shorten the resting phase, and force follicles into anagen. Other drugs combat male pattern baldness by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT so that it doesn't ______ those sensitive follicles. Stem cells also play a role in regulating the growth cycle, and so scientists are investigating whether they can manipulate the activity of these cells to encourage follicles to start producing hair again. And in the meantime, while scientists hone their hair-reviving methods, anyone going bald, or considering baldness, can ________ that they're in great _______.

Solution

  1. release
  2. shock
  3. testosterone
  4. blood
  5. pattern
  6. telogen
  7. phase
  8. return
  9. ready
  10. productive
  11. baldness
  12. centuries
  13. remember
  14. increasingly
  15. circular
  16. growth
  17. cycle
  18. pondered
  19. norwood
  20. begins
  21. balding
  22. highest
  23. dense
  24. shrink
  25. protein
  26. describes
  27. company
  28. years
  29. follicles
  30. overly
  31. childbirth
  32. twelve
  33. length
  34. affect
  35. sprouting
  36. force
  37. scientific
  38. scalps
  39. response
  40. darwin
  41. follicle
  42. temporarily
  43. beneath

Original Text

What do Charles Darwin, Michael Jordan, and Yoda have in common? They, like many other historical and fictive individuals, are bald, in some cases by their own choice. For centuries, a shining dome has been a symbol of intelligence, but despite this, many balding people still wish their hair would return. Scientists have long pondered, "Why do some people lose their hair, and how can we bring it back?" The full-headed among us have about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on our scalps, and scientists have discovered two things about this dense thicket. Firstly, the sprouting hair we see is mostly made up of keratin, the protein leftover from dead cells that are forced upwards as new cells grow beneath them. Secondly, the structures that drive hair growth are called hair follicles, a network of complex organs that forms before we're born, and grows hair in an everlasting cycle. This cycle has three main phases. The first is anagen, the growth phase, which up to 90% of your hair follicles are experiencing right now, causing them to push up hair at a rate of one centimeter per month. Anagen can last for two to seven years, depending on your genes. After this productive period, signals within the skin instruct some follicles to enter a new phase known as catagen, or the regressing stage, causing hair follicles to shrink to a fraction of their original length. Catagen lasts for about two to three weeks and cuts blood supply to the follicle, creating a club hair, meaning it's ready to be shed. Finally, hairs enter telogen, the resting phase, which lasts for ten to twelve weeks, and affects about 5-15% of your scalp follicles. During telogen, up to 200 club hairs can be shed in a day, which is quite normal. Then, the growth cycle begins anew. But not all heads are hairy, and, in fact, some of them grow increasingly patchy over time in response to bodily changes. 95% of baldness in men can be attributed to male pattern baldness. Baldness is inherited, and in people with this condition, follicles become incredibly sensitive to the effects of dihydrotestosterone, a hormonal product made from testosterone. DHT causes shrinkage in these overly sensitive follicles, making hair shorter and wispier. But loss isn't sudden. It happens gradually, along a metric known as the Norwood Scale, which describes the severity of hair loss. First, hair recedes along the temples, then hair on the crown begins to thin in a circular pattern. At the highest rating on the scale, these balding areas meet and expand dramatically, eventually leaving only a ring of sparse hair around the temples and the back of the head. Genetics isn't all that drives hair loss. Long periods of stress can release signals that shock follicles and force them into the resting phase prematurely. Some women experience this after childbirth. Follicles might also lose the ability to go into anagen, the growth phase. People going through chemotherapy treatment temporarily experience this. But while balding may look permanent, scientific investigation has revealed the opposite. Below the skin's surface, the roots that give rise to our hair actually remain alive. Using this knowledge, scientists have developed drugs that shorten the resting phase, and force follicles into anagen. Other drugs combat male pattern baldness by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT so that it doesn't affect those sensitive follicles. Stem cells also play a role in regulating the growth cycle, and so scientists are investigating whether they can manipulate the activity of these cells to encourage follicles to start producing hair again. And in the meantime, while scientists hone their hair-reviving methods, anyone going bald, or considering baldness, can remember that they're in great company.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
hair follicles 2
male pattern 2
pattern baldness 2
hair loss 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
male pattern baldness 2

Important Words

  1. ability
  2. activity
  3. affect
  4. affects
  5. alive
  6. anagen
  7. anew
  8. areas
  9. attributed
  10. bald
  11. balding
  12. baldness
  13. begins
  14. beneath
  15. blocking
  16. blood
  17. bodily
  18. born
  19. bring
  20. called
  21. cases
  22. catagen
  23. causing
  24. cells
  25. centimeter
  26. centuries
  27. charles
  28. chemotherapy
  29. childbirth
  30. choice
  31. circular
  32. club
  33. combat
  34. common
  35. company
  36. complex
  37. condition
  38. conversion
  39. creating
  40. crown
  41. cuts
  42. cycle
  43. darwin
  44. day
  45. dead
  46. dense
  47. depending
  48. describes
  49. developed
  50. dht
  51. dihydrotestosterone
  52. discovered
  53. dome
  54. dramatically
  55. drive
  56. drives
  57. drugs
  58. effects
  59. encourage
  60. enter
  61. eventually
  62. everlasting
  63. expand
  64. experience
  65. experiencing
  66. fact
  67. fictive
  68. finally
  69. firstly
  70. follicle
  71. follicles
  72. force
  73. forced
  74. forms
  75. fraction
  76. genes
  77. genetics
  78. give
  79. gradually
  80. great
  81. grow
  82. grows
  83. growth
  84. hair
  85. hairs
  86. hairy
  87. head
  88. heads
  89. highest
  90. historical
  91. hone
  92. hormonal
  93. increasingly
  94. incredibly
  95. individuals
  96. inherited
  97. instruct
  98. intelligence
  99. investigating
  100. investigation
  101. jordan
  102. keratin
  103. knowledge
  104. lasts
  105. leaving
  106. leftover
  107. length
  108. long
  109. lose
  110. loss
  111. main
  112. making
  113. male
  114. manipulate
  115. meaning
  116. meet
  117. men
  118. methods
  119. metric
  120. michael
  121. month
  122. network
  123. normal
  124. norwood
  125. organs
  126. original
  127. overly
  128. patchy
  129. pattern
  130. people
  131. period
  132. periods
  133. permanent
  134. phase
  135. phases
  136. play
  137. pondered
  138. prematurely
  139. producing
  140. product
  141. productive
  142. protein
  143. push
  144. rate
  145. rating
  146. ready
  147. recedes
  148. regressing
  149. regulating
  150. release
  151. remain
  152. remember
  153. response
  154. resting
  155. return
  156. revealed
  157. ring
  158. rise
  159. role
  160. roots
  161. scale
  162. scalp
  163. scalps
  164. scientific
  165. scientists
  166. sensitive
  167. severity
  168. shed
  169. shining
  170. shock
  171. shorten
  172. shorter
  173. shrink
  174. shrinkage
  175. signals
  176. skin
  177. sparse
  178. sprouting
  179. stage
  180. start
  181. stem
  182. stress
  183. structures
  184. sudden
  185. supply
  186. surface
  187. symbol
  188. telogen
  189. temples
  190. temporarily
  191. ten
  192. testosterone
  193. thicket
  194. thin
  195. time
  196. treatment
  197. twelve
  198. weeks
  199. wispier
  200. women
  201. years
  202. yoda