According to a study published in the journal Nature Genetics, hair color would be determined by more than 100 distinct genes. This discovery could help medicine in the treatment of certain diseases.
You’ve probably wondered why your hair was blond, red, brown or black. Researchers from King’s College London and the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam have identified 124 genes that play a major role in determining hair color. To obtain this result, the DNA data of nearly 300,000 people of European origin, as well as information on the color of their hair, were analyzed.
Tim Spector, co-author of the study and a professor at King’s College London, says the results of the study are also beneficial in understanding some diseases. “Genes that affect hair color also affect certain types of cancer, such as melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Other genes affect the chances of suffering from Crohn’s disease and other forms of intestinal diseases. This genetic study will have an impact on several areas of biology and medicine,” he said.
Lead author Manfred Kayser, a professor at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, said the discovery of these new genes could also help forensic pathologists find criminals.