Genes predict hair colour, say scientists
Wednesday 05 January 2011
Samples of DNA can give a high-probability estimate of someone's hair colour, a finding that will be a boon for forensic scientists, according to a new study published on Tuesday.
DNA taken from blood, sperm, saliva or skin cells can determine with more than 90-percent accuracy whether a person has red hair or black hair, and with an accuracy of more than 80 percent as to whether their hair is blond or brown, say its authors.
The technique, published in the European journal Human Genetics, can even differentiate between hair colours that are similar, such as red and reddish blond and blond and dark blond.
"That we are now making it possible to predict different hair colours from DNA represents a major breakthrough because, so far, only red hair colour, which is rare, could be estimated from DNA," said Manfred Kayser, a forensic molecular biology professor at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
The research is based on 13 telltale signatures of DNA in 11 genes, which matched hair colours in hundreds of Europeans. It was based on hair on the head, and further research is needed to predict the colour of body hair.
The scientists believe that a standardised DNA test for predicting hair colour could emerge in the near future, adding powerfully to the forensic toolkit.
Life & Style blogs
Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
Snapchat got rid of the Best Friends feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Food secrets: the good, the bad...and the faeces
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...