The reality: My mom never let me dye my light brown hair. I walked in with a picture of Emma Stone and hoped for the best. My hair turned out better than I expected, and I felt more like myself than I ever had before.
Where, you ask? In Twins: An Investigation Into the Strange Coincidences in the Lives of Separated Twins by Peter Watson ; library citationwhich constitutes a stunning example of adapting scientific research to a lay audience. In this case, the goal was to explain the putative coincidences everyone associates with twins, particularly identical ones.
Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. With incidents like Kick a Ginger Day, the phenomenon walks the line between being satire and not. However, the aim of my project is not to insist that redheaded people are subjected to discrimination, nor to compare gingerism to the oppression of any marginalized group.
It turns out that there are a number of special genetic qualities that give those lucky redheads a surplus of evolutionary advantages. A study at the University of Louisville revealed that MC1R can amplify the activity of the genes which detect and respond to temperature changes, meaning that redheads are likely to be shivering more than most this winter. The rare MC1R gene mutation also means that flame-haired people need less vitamin D than the rest of us.
People with red hair are more susceptible to skin cancer — but it may not all be the fault of the sun. But a study published today in Nature 1 suggests that in mice, the pigment responsible for this colouring has a role in the development of melanoma. Compared to people with darker skin, those with fair, freckly skin and red hair produce a different form of the pigment melanin.
Long before the study of genetics, the rarity of red hair led to the creation of magical and wildly imaginative explanations. Ancient Greeks decided their Thracian neighbours were especially warmongering and bloodthirsty because they were flame-haired. At some point in history a dichotomy of sorts emerges: men with red hair were up to no good, with several notable paintings depicting Judas with red hair, for example, while during the reign of Elizabeth I, women fell over themselves in their efforts to dye their hair the same colour as the queen.
Or that she must be insensitive when she doesn't seem to mind ferociously hot curry sauce that sets your mouth on fire? An increasing number of studies show that redheads are differently constituted in terms of pain perception and body reactions. Research reveals that redheads:.
Red hair or ginger hair occurs naturally in one to two percent of the human populationappearing with greater frequency two to six percent among people of Northern or Northwestern European ancestry and lesser frequency in other populations. It is most common in individuals homozygous for a recessive allele on chromosome 16 that produces an altered version of the MC1R protein. Red hair varies in hue from a deep burgundy or bright copperor auburnto burnt orange or red-orange to strawberry blond. Characterized by high levels of the reddish pigment pheomelanin and relatively low levels of the dark pigment eumelaninit is associated with fair skin colorlighter eye colorfrecklesand sensitivity to ultraviolet light.
THE Viking warriors who invaded Scotland in the eighth century may have harboured a fiery secret beneath their horned helmets. According to a leading academic the Norse invaders depicted in film and history books as rugged blonds were in fact ginger. The contentious theory could explain the auburn enigma that has long baffled scientists — why do so many Scots have red hair?