Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Defectives Hidden Among Us: Gingers and Their Kin!

...Now a ground-breaking study of more than 5,000 British people’s DNA indicates that around four in ten of us carry the genes that make hair red — only they are not switched on to influence hair colour: they are ‘recessive’. The genes may, however, be at work in other ways that could profoundly affect our health.
Yes, yes, we've seen other studies that show that Gingers are defective; more sensitive to pain, resistant to anesthetics, and more susceptible to some forms of cancer.
The BritainsDNA other leader, Alistair Moffat, revealed exclusively to the Mail: ‘Our new results indicate that nearly 40 per cent of us carry one of the genes for being red-haired. But the carriers very often have no idea.’ People with Scottish or northern England ancestry are more likely to be ‘secret’ redheads. But the ginger net may be spread much wider than that.
Forty percent!  Oh my goodness, that's almost enough to stage a coup! Well on their way to world domination!
The research project was prompted by Moffat’s own family story. A historian who is also rector of the University of St Andrews, he discovered he carries ginger genes only when his two children unexpectedly turned out red-headed.

The reason for all these redhead genes is down to our cloudy British weather, says Moffat. While dark skin protects against solar radiation, redheads have evolved pale skin to absorb more of it, important for people in cloudy climes because it helps their bodies produce sufficient vitamin D from the sparse available sunlight to keep healthy. ‘That is why most Africans are dark-skinned and most Europeans lighter skinned,’ he says. ‘Light-skinned redheads absorb more vitamin D from sunlight. ‘Where there are most redheads, according to statistics, in Scotland and the north of England, there is much more cloud each year than sunshine.’
 And this one is of interest to me...
WHY DARK-HAIRED MEN HAVE GINGER BEARDS

Red hair appears in people who carry two copies of a gene that changes the way a crucial protein called MC1R behaves. In people with brown, black and blond hair, the gene produces eumelanin, a pigment that colours hair from blonde to black, depending on how much is present. But there are three common variants of this gene. These cause the protein to create a different pigment, pheomelanin, and this produces ginger hair and fair skin. Redheads have any of these three common gene variants. In secret redheads, the genes are not ‘expressed’ in a way that affects the colour of their hair.

The gene mutation can fail to manifest itself over generations, and it does not affect hair colour if a person carries only one copy of the gene. Investigators have suggested that men with dark hair who grow ginger beards carry a single copy of the recessive gene, but scientific tests have yet to prove this.There may be no outward signs that you are harbouring this mutation and there may not even be any redheads in your close family.
We tried the genetic experiment.  Georgia is full blooded ginger, freckled, anesthetic resistant, and sun sensitive.  We're still looking into the soulless issue, but she doesn't appreciate Aretha Franklin.  I have a ginger beard, at least what's not gray, which, according to this, would suggest that I carry a single copy of the gene.  Assuming simple genetics, that would suggest that each of our two sons would have a 50% chance of being a soulless ginger.  Both have my dirty blond hair, and ginger beards, when they let them grow.  It could work out that way.
But the mutated redhead genes may be doing other things in your body instead.
 
They go through the usual litany of pain sensitive, anesthetic resistant and cancer susceptible, but then come up with a two or three I hadn't heard before:
‘One of the latest links being examined is whether these mutated red-haired genes are linked to an increased risk of babies being born overweight,’ says Moffat. Scientists at University College, London, are using his data because they want to know if hidden redhead genes are playing an important role in increasing babies’ weight, which may have implications for their long-term health.
Not many chubby ones in this collection, but maybe that's selection on my part.
Another study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested that the red-headed hair-colouring pigment pheomelanin may set off a chain of chemical reactions in human brains that can lead to the type of brain-cell damage that causes Parkinson’s.
 That's not good.

There is strong statistical evidence for a link between hidden red-hair genes and a significantly increased risk of Tourette’s syndrome, the neurological disorder characterised by repetitive involuntary movements and vocalisations called tics.

A study by Katrina Williams, a professor of developmental medicine at Sydney Children’s Hospital, found that 13 per cent of people with Tourette’s in Australia have red hair, while only around 4 per cent of the non-Tourette’s population has this colouring.

Furthermore, more than half of the Tourette’s syndrome patients had relatives with red hair, suggesting a genetic link.

With Tourette’s and Parkinson’s, it is not known whether ‘silent’ redhead genes may also raise the risk of developing problems.
F@ck that $#!*....

Wombat-Socho continues to satisfy his community service obligation by sending his giant "Rule 5 Sunday: Live from Luray" from his vacation in the depths of Luray Caverns. That's dedication! The Classical Liberal also picked up the link in his Rule 5 linkfest "Been Away Too Long."

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