A SWEDISH university team has been extracting blood from Spanish donkeys to see what can be learnt to help humans who are losing their hair.
The University of Agricultural Sciences of Uppsala is analysing the blood of donkeys cared for by the El Burrito Feliz Association based in Hinojos, in Andalucia’s Doñana Park.
Vets from Uppsala have been working for sometime with the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC).
The aim is to produce a report on the ‘the enormous strength of the hairs on the manes of these animals and to obtain a formula that allows this characteristic to be transferred to human hair’.
The Swedish veterinary teams extracted the blood samples from the donkeys, accompanied by staff from the Doñana Research Station.
Juan Jose Negro, researcher at the EBD-CSIC, explained that the study is about ‘genetic aspects of the equids of the world like horses, zebras, and donkeys’.
“The work looks at hair growth and the characteristics shared by humans and four-legged animals.”
“These animals have growth on the mane and we on the head, but are investigations as to what causes human baldness and possible remedies are likely to be most of importance to some people,” added Jose Negro.
The choice of the particular donkeys was not by chance with the University of Uppsala ‘looking for donkey specimens that were in good health and lived in a way that was as close as possible to that which they would lead in the wild’.
Their characteristics include living in the open year for up to 40 years in the open air. within huge expanses of forest and grassland.
Uppsala University is the oldest institution of study in Sweden, founded in 1477, and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Europe.
The project is being carried thanks to the efforts of the volunteers of El Burrito Feliz.