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Very odd abstract found. Any comments?

James james at nospam.com
Thu Sep 10 14:55:54 EST 1998

> The answer to all these points is that the cell type studied is dermal
> fibroblasts.  The cells on the outer surface of our skin (the epidermis)
> are generated as Tom describes, but those in the deeper layer (the dermis)
> are not.  In fact, they divide VERY rarely (in adulthood -- see below)
> unless and until injury of the tissue, at which time they proliferate to
> heal the wound.  Thus the non-division that William suggests is in fact
> not mysterious at all.

I'm not too up on my skin anatomy.  I thought that all layers of the skin
gradually differentiated into the top layer, which is then shed.  This would
mean that on average, dermal cells divide just as often as any other type of
skin cell.  Apparently this is not correct.  So could you elaborate on two

First, why aren't dermal cells regularly contributing to the top layer
(meaning, how does it really work)?  And second, assuming that the researchers
knew this, why did they pick a rarely-dividing cell type to do this type of
experiment with?

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