Published: April 17, 2018 11:10:28 am
Scientists identified 124 genes that play an important role in determining the color of our hair, a finding that could help authorities predict the hair color of a criminal from DNA tests. In the crime scene. The discovery sheds new light on our understanding of the genetic complexity that undergirds variations in human pigmentation, and could improve our understanding of pigmentation-related conditions such as skin, testicles, prostate and ovarian cancer. The findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, are also relevant to forensic science. Although previous studies found that a large percentage of hair color variation is explained by hereditary factors, they only identified a dozen hair color genes.
The new study largely explains the genetic knowledge gap. Researchers from King & # 39; s College London in the United Kingdom and Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands analyzed DNA data from nearly 300,000 people of European descent, along with their self-reported hair color information. By comparing the group's hair color with its genetic information, stored in several million places in the human genome, the team identified 124 genes involved in hair color development, of which more than 100 were not known to influence the pigmentation. 19659006] The scientists also showed that predicting hair color with this new genetic information is more accurate than with previously known genes. "This work will have an impact in various fields of biology and medicine, and as the largest genetic study on pigmentation, it will improve our understanding of diseases such as melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer," said King's Tim Spector. s College London. Genes that affect hair color also affect other types of cancer, while other pigments affect the chances of having Crohn's disease and other forms of intestinal disease.
"Our work helps us understand what causes human diversity in appearance by showing how genes are involved in pigmentation subtly adapted to external environments and even to social interactions during our evolution," said Spector. "We found that women have significantly more fair hair than men, which reflects how important cultural practices and sexual preferences are in the formation of our genes and biology," he said. "In addition to substantially increasing our understanding of the genetics of human pigmentation in general, finding these new hair color genes is also important to further increase the accuracy of hair color prediction from traces of DNA in future forensic applications. , which can help find unknown authors of the crime. " said Manfred Kayser of Erasmus MC.
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