Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Blonde hair evolved independently in Pacific islands

A new genetic line for blonde hair has been discovered among the Solomon islands and Fiji.

The locals have a striking unique characteristics- their hair.

People often thought that the gene was introduced by trading, locals thought it was due to the sun beating on their hair.

But in fact, it is a mutation independently.

Blonde hair is not believed to be due to a single incident, as it has been discovered that blonde hair evolved separately at at least two independent times.

One thing which startled researchers was that the blonde hair had only one shade.

You either had blonde hair, or you didn't. There was no streaks or variations.


Scientists tested 2 groups, one with blonde hair, the other with dark.

They found that they had different versions of a gene called TYRP1, involved in the color of hair.

One letter of the code coded for the color, switching C to T resulted in changing the color to blonde.

The gene is recessive, so both parents must have this gene.

This explains why this shade is distinct to the people from the islands as the population is low.

Some mutations will die out, some will stay, for example blonde hair.

This shows us that mutations happen anywhere, independent and can sometimes be isolated.

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