Blonde Gene Discovered in DNA

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Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Stanford University have identified the genetic mutation that makes people have Nordic blonde hair. The mutation takes place in the KITLG gene, which is responsible for many cell types like melanocytes that dictate skin color.

Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Stanford University have identified the genetic mutation that makes people have Nordic blonde hair.

The mutation takes place in the KITLG gene, which is responsible for many cell types like melanocytes that dictate skin color.

David Kingsley from Stanford University, who led the study is quoted in a press release as saying: “This particular genetic variation in humans is associated with blond hair, but it isn't associated with eye color or other pigmentation traits.”

To make this scientific discovery, scientists studied the three-spined stickleback fish and found that changes in a single letter of the genetic code acts in a similar way to cause pigmentation variation in humans.

The researchers experimented with the genetic configuration in mice and proved that the change of a single letter affected how light or dark their hair was.

There are actually several genes that affect hair color, but this particular mutation makes Nordic blondes, and is most prevalent in Scandinavia.

Understanding how small changes in genetics affect things like hair color can also help experts figure out how other traits like predisposition to disease are decided by genetic mutations.

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