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Eight Genes Linked to Red Hair: Study

An Edinburgh University-led research team found eight different genes are linked to individuals having red hair, BBC News reports. It was previously thought that the appearance of red hair was controlled by one gene called MC1R, but the new study reportedly revealed “eight previously-unknown genetic differences” between redheads and those with different colored locks. In examining DNA from almost 350,000 people in the UK Biobank study, the team reportedly found some of the eight genes “work by controlling when MC1R is switched on or off.” The BBC reports that the team also unearthed “differences in almost 200 genes” associated with blondes and brunettes. “We are very pleased that this work has unravelled most of the genetic variation contributing to differences in hair color among people,” Prof. Albert Tenesa told BBC News.