Gene for brown hair, blue eyes and freckles discovered

| | November 25, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A genomic variant strongly associated with sensitivity to the sun, brown hair, blue eyes and freckles has been identified by a new study.

Researchers studying Icelanders discovered an intricate pathway involving the interspersed DNA sequence, or non-coding region, of a gene that is among a few dozen that are associated with human pigmentation traits. The findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Cell.

People with ancestors from geographic locations farther from the equator, such as Iceland, are more likely to have less pigmentation in their skin, hair and eyes. A reduction in pigment makes individuals more sensitive to the sun, but allows them to more easily draw upon sunlight to generate vitamin D3, which is essential for healthy bones.

Read the full, original story here: Genetic Variant Linked To Freckling, Sun Sensitivity Discovered

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