LONDON, April 17th. / TASS /. Scientists from the Royal College of London and the medical center of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands found more than 100 new genes responsible for the color of human hair. On the basis of these data, they developed a new DNA test, which can be useful in the work of forensic experts: it allows you to 10-20% more accurately determine the hair color of an unknown person by genetic material alone.
“If someone else’s blood stays on the crime scene, then with DNA, you can identify with 90% the blackness of that person’s hair or red hair,” the newspaper said. The Guardian the words of one of the leaders of the study of Tim Spector.
Hair color, according to scientists, is almost completely determined genetically and inherited from the parents. For example, in studies involving twins, it was found that the shade of 97% is due only to genes. However, up to now, only 13 such genes have been known to scientists.
Now, after studying the DNA of 300 thousand people, they calculated immediately 124 genes that affect the hair color – both directly, in response to the production and distribution of melanin pigment, and indirectly, through other biological mechanisms, the nature of many of which is still is not completely clear.
As the researchers note, the best developed test is black and red hair, but the brownies and blondes are more difficult to recognize. In particular, one of the problems hampering the work of forensic experts is a fairly common, but still incomprehensible phenomenon, when people are born with blond hair, but during the next few years they darken. Despite a hundred newly discovered genes, none of them, according to scientists, is not able to explain this phenomenon. “We know that some blond children are becoming shatens, but we have no idea why this is happening,” Manfred Kaiser said.
According to scientists, they do not exclude the possibility that there may be hundreds of genes that affect hair color and its change, but nothing is known about science yet. The study was published in the British scientific journal Nature .