home Mind-Boggling Stories 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Redheads

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Redheads

There are a bunch of myths out there about redheads: Are they really going extinct? Are they more prone to develop cancer? Trace has all those answers and more.

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Simultaneous purifying selection on the ancestral MC1R allele and positive selection on the melanoma-risk allele V60L in South Europeans

“In humans, the geographical apportionment of the coding diversity of the pigmentary locus MC1R is, unusually, higher in Eurasians than in Africans.”

Are redheads going extinct?

“In August 2007, many news organizations reported that redheads or “gingers,” as our British and Australian friends call them, would eventually become extinct.”


“The MC1R gene provides instructions for making a protein called the melanocortin 1 receptor. This receptor plays an important role in normal pigmentation.”

Why Redheads Are at Higher Risk for Melanoma

“The same genetic mutation that leads to red hair and fair skin may put redheads at risk for skin cancer, a new study suggests.”

Redheads may be at higher risk of melanoma even without sun

“A study on mice suggests that pheomelanin pigment, which gives rise to red hair, is itself a potential trigger for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.”

Why Surgeons Dread Redheads

“As the authors of a recent study published in BMJ attest, society’s red-haired members don’t always get a fair shake. Hoary stereotypes, such as the idea that redheads are also hot heads, are mixed together with actual physiological differences — such as a heightened sensitivity to pain. Now science is getting a better understanding of redheaded physiology than ever before.”

‘Ginger gene’ developed after humans moved to colder climate 50,000 years ago

“Fair skin and red hair first appeared around the time people settled in Europe and still remains a dominant gene in southern Europeans today, even if they become tanned.”

Check out more about the ginger gene on I F#!&king Love Science:

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