Navigation Links
'Blond Genes' May Vary Around the World
Date:5/3/2012

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- All blonds are not alike, according to a new study that finds different genes dictate flaxen locks in different areas of the globe.

The genetic variant that causes many dark-skinned people from the Solomon Islands to have blond hair is different from the gene possessed by blond Europeans, the study found. Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine found that this particular variant is absent in the genomes of Europeans.

"Since most studies in human genetics only include participants of European descent, we may be getting a very biased view of which genes and mutations influence the traits we investigate," study co-senior author Carlos Bustamante, professor of genetics at Stanford, said in a university news release. "Here, we sought to test whether one of the most striking human traits, blond hair, had the same -- or different -- genetic underpinning in different human populations."

The frequency of blond hair in the Solomon Islands is between 5 percent and 10 percent, the researchers said.

"They have this very dark skin and bright blond hair," study co-senior author Sean Myles, a former Stanford postdoctoral scholar who is now an assistant professor at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, said in the release. "It was mind-blowing. As a geneticist on the beach watching the kids playing, you count up the frequency of kids with blond hair, and say, 'Wow, it's 5 to 10 percent.'"

Many locals assumed their blond hair was the result of sun exposure or high fish consumption. Others believed it was a trait passed on by European explorers. The study authors, however, sought to determine if there was a unique genetic basis for this characteristic.

In conducting the study, which is scheduled to be published in the May 4 issue of Science, the researchers assessed Islanders' hair and skin color using a light reflectance meter. The investigators also took participants' blood pressure, measured their heights and weights, and collected 1,000 saliva samples from the villagers to examine their DNA.

To look for the genes associated with blond hair, the researchers then selected 43 of the most blond and 42 of the darkest-haired Islanders from the samples collected, and looked for differences in the frequency of genetic variants between the two groups.

The researchers immediately identified a single signal on chromosome 9, which accounted for 50 percent of the variance in the participants' blond hair. They later identified the gene responsible, called TYRP1. The authors noted that the genetic variant that leads to blond hair among people in the Solomon Islands is not found in the genomes of Europeans.

"Within a week we had our initial result," the study's co-first author, Eimear Kenny, said in the news release. "It was such a striking signal pointing to a single gene -- a result you could hang your hat on. That rarely happens in science. It was one of the best experiences of my career."

"The human characteristic of blond hair arose independently in equatorial Oceania," she said. "That's quite unexpected and fascinating."

"This is one of the most beautiful examples to date of the mapping of a simple genetic trait in humans," David Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard University who was not involved in the study, said in the news release.

The study authors said the finding underscores the need for genetic studies on isolated populations.

"If we're going to be designing the next generation of medical treatments using genetic information and we don't have a really broad spectrum of populations included, you could disproportionately benefit some populations and harm others," Bustamante said.

More information

The U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute has more about genetic mapping.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Stanford University School of Medicine, news release, May 3, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Genes Might Cause Some to Shun Pork
2. Genes Associated With Autism Also Related to Schizophrenia
3. 2 repressor genes identified as essential for placental development
4. Researchers ID Genes That May Determine Mental Illness
5. Brisk Daily Walk Could Counter Obesity Genes
6. Genes Play a Role in Drug Abuse Risk Among Adopted Kids: Study
7. Study finds new genes that cause Baraitser-Winter syndrome, a brain malformation
8. Researchers Spot Genes Behind Macular Degeneration
9. When your left hand mimics what your right hand does: Its in the genes
10. 4 New Genes Linked to Type 2 Diabetes
11. Same Genes Key to Early & Late-Onset Alzheimers: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Blond Genes' May Vary Around the World
(Date:10/12/2017)... ANGELES (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the newly ... on cosmetictown.com. Dr. Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System will ... the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by Jeffrey ... Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of the Division ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... RAPIDS, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... Wellness, has been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® ... and Brightest in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... In ... taxes a year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, ... overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Farm Forward joins Bon Appétit ... institutions in announcing the launch of the Leadership Circle , a program ... raised for food. , Founding members of the Leadership Circle also include Airbnb’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination should ... helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions apply ... ... is by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, ... formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics ... new brand, which included the unveiling of new signage ... , as well as at a few other company-owned ... new brand to patients, some of whom will begin ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early ... of wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of ... Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions ... affordable analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: