logo
Plus   Neg
Share
Email
Comment

Mysterious Origin Of Blond Hair On Dark Skin Revealed

solomonisland-050412.jpg

Situated in the south-west Pacific, about 1800 km north-east of Australia, are Solomon Islands. Most of the inhabitants of this island country are dark-skinned people called Melanesians. One of the intriguing features of these people is the naturally bright blond hair, which about 10 percent of them sport. Surprised at the co-existence of blond hair with dark skin?

Read on to know the reason for the islanders' blond locks...

Well, a number of hypotheses like bleaching by sun and saltwater, a diet rich in fish, and the genetic legacy of Europeans or Americans have been considered for the origins of their blond hair. But a new study has found that the naturally blond hair in Solomon Islanders is due to variant of a native gene called TYRP1 that plays an important role in the melanin biosynthetic pathway.

The findings were arrived at after analyzing the genetic makeup of 43 blond and 42 dark-haired Melanesians.

Note that the variant of TYRP1 gene is distinctly different from the gene that causes blond hair in Europeans. This variant is not present in the Europeans.

Given the fact that the particular variant responsible for blond hair in the Solomon Islands is absent in the genomes of Europeans, the study author Sean Myles, a geneticist at Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, Canada, said, "It's a great example of convergent evolution, where the same outcome is brought about by completely different means."

The research was co-led by Dr Nic Timpson from the Medical Research Council Center for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology at the University of Bristol and researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study is published May 4 in the journal Science.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Editors Pick
Reinsurer Swiss Re (SSREY.PK) reported Friday a sharp decline in fiscal 2017 profit, hurt mainly by $4.7 billion losses related natural catastrophes, as well as weak premiums written. However, the company announced higher dividend and said its Board will propose a further share buy-back program of up to 1.0 billion francs. Swiss Re shares were gaining around 3 percent. HP Inc. (HPQ), the PC and printer business of the former Hewlett-Packard Co., on Thursday reported a profit for the first quarter that increased from last year and trumped analysts' expectations driven largely by a higher-than-expected revenues. The PC giant detailed a second-quarter and full year... Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) reported a profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 that increased 28.9 percent from the prior year. Total net sales grew 2.2 percent from last year. Earnings per share topped analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed their estimates. The company raised annual earnings per share guidance due to U.S. tax reform, while it maintained annual net sales outlook.
comments powered by Disqus
Follow RTT