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Scientists have discovered 'grey hair gene'


Posted on Thursday, 3 March, 2016 | Comment icon 21 comments

For most of us, grey hair is a sign that we are getting older. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Jorge Royan
The find could make it possible to slow down or even prevent our hair from going grey as we get older.
Nobody likes going grey, but while a bottle of hair dye can help to mask this inevitable sign of aging, scientists have found something that could eventually lead to a permanent solution to the problem.

The research involved collecting and analyzing DNA samples from 6,000 volunteers spread across several continents in an attempt to find the gene responsible for causing hair to lose its color.

"We already know several genes involved in balding and hair color but this is the first time a gene for greying has been identified in humans, as well as other genes influencing hair shape and density," said lead author Dr Kaustubh Adhikari. "It was only possible because we analyzed a diverse melting pot of people, which hasn't been done before on this scale."

While the gene's discovery is certainly a good start, scientists believe that there are many other genetic and environmental factors responsible for hair turning grey as we age.

"The genes we have identified are unlikely to work in isolation to cause greying hair... but have a role to play along with many other factors yet to be identified," said Dr Adhikari.

Source: BBC News | Comments (21)

Tags: Grey Hair, Aging

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by White Unicorn on 3 March, 2016, 19:40
Neat. But I'll stick with going grey gracefully. I'm with you. I streaked my hair when young. My genes gave me a beautiful silver. Since I'm frugal and have people say "my, your streaked highlights are amazing and beautiful what hair dresser did it?" I don't fake colors anymore
Comment icon #13 Posted by WoIverine on 3 March, 2016, 19:52
I wouldn't want to be immortal, just let me live 1,000 years and I would be happy with that. You and me both, I could dig living a millennium or two, granted everything else didn't fall apart around me.
Comment icon #14 Posted by gwa125 on 3 March, 2016, 21:12
I've been going grey now for 3 years and am not far from overtaking my mother and father.
Comment icon #15 Posted by DLE on 3 March, 2016, 23:09
A grey horse is as good as a black horse... But there's something wrong with a bald one.
Comment icon #16 Posted by coolguy on 4 March, 2016, 5:49
I hate my grey hair,i hve very little of it i started geting it in my 20's
Comment icon #17 Posted by Morning_Bird on 4 March, 2016, 6:57
I love gray hair and I think it's very cool and beautiful. I would love for my hair to grow out gray or white.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Derek Willis on 4 March, 2016, 9:55
My process of going grey was rather bizarre. When I was young my hair was black. I then started getting streaks of ginger. My wife was horrified (my apologies to any ginger people out there) and then those streaks turned white, leaving my hair grey. I wonder if scientists will discover the wrinkle gene next.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Absinthe on 5 March, 2016, 5:05
My girlfriend keeps yanking mine out
Comment icon #20 Posted by NoNickname90 on 8 March, 2016, 20:41
I'm wondering why our hair color isn't as vibrant as I would see in anime (Japanese cartoons). It's like there's this spectrum of possible colors. Why hasn't that changed? I mean, what does grey hair mean for us, as a human? That question is me thinking in the mindset that a gene is there to help, though I know there are some that are 'just there'. Just my mind wondering.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Aftermath on 10 March, 2016, 18:27
I'm wondering why our hair color isn't as vibrant as I would see in anime (Japanese cartoons). It's like there's this spectrum of possible colors. Why hasn't that changed? I mean, what does grey hair mean for us, as a human? That question is me thinking in the mindset that a gene is there to help, though I know there are some that are 'just there'. Just my mind wondering. I think that is an excellent question. Funnily, perhaps it is an indicator like we see in Logan's Run. I wonder...


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