Genetically modified soybeans could hold the key to cure hair loss, say a team of top researchers at Japan's Kyoto University.

Led by soy and health specialist Masaaki Yoshikawa, professor of food science at Kyoto University, the team used genetic engineering technology to incorporate into the soybean a substance derived from egg whites that promotes hair growth.

After feeding the GM soy to mice that had lost hair after receiving chemotherapy the team concluded that it promotes hair growth, helps prevent hair loss caused by chemotherapy and encourages hair to grow back faster than normal. Despite public opposition the Japanese government is now granting licences to GM crop growers.