Natural blondes may have one gene to thank

Sunday, June 1, 2014 (HealthDay News)-Blonde may or may not be more fun, but now there’s one thing that’s clear. They have something special about their genes.

New research reveals how single-gene regulation is sufficient for people to make blonde hair.

“This particular genetic variation in humans is associated with blonde hair, but the eyes,” said David Kingsley, a research leader at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Stanford University, in a university news release. It is not related to color or other pigmentation characteristics. ”

He said research shows how a particular gene “switch” regulates color changes in human features.

Kingsley has spent a lot of his career researching the fish known as the three-spined stickleback to better understand evolution. His research discovered genes that affect fish pigmentation, and scientists decided to see if it had a similar effect on other species, such as humans.

Actually it is.

“The exact same gene that was found to control fish skin color, [gene] Choice of different populations around the world. “

In a new study, researchers found that one letter of the genetic code separates people with different hair colors.

“The genetic mechanisms that control blonde hair do not change the biology of other parts of the body,” Kingsley said. “This is a good example of deep-skinned, deep-skinned properties.”

What’s next?

“Despite the challenges, we now clearly have a way to link traits to specific DNA changes,” Kingsley said. “I think there will be more research of this kind in the future, which will give us a deeper understanding of both the molecular basis of human diversity and the susceptibility or resistance to many common diseases.”

This study was published in the June 1st issue of the journal. Nature genetics..

–Randy Dotinga

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Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Press Release, June 1, 2014. June 1, 2014, Nature genetics

Natural blondes may have one gene to thank

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