Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Small Genetic Change Responsible For Blond Hair

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the towheaded-child dept.

Science 125

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "For all those brunettes wishing they were naturally blond, a small genetic change could have made all the difference. Scientists have found that replacing one of DNA's four letters at a key spot in the genome shifts a particular gene's activity and leads to fairer hair. Not only does the work provide a molecular basis for flaxen locks, but it also demonstrates how changes in segments of DNA that control genes, not just changes in genes themselves, are important to what an organism looks like."

cancel ×

125 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

gene linked to intelligence? (-1, Redundant)

cashman73 (855518) | about 3 months ago | (#47147629)

So, is this blond hair gene linked to intelligence? I wouldn't be surprised,. . .

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147657)

Clearly you must be a blonde.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147661)

"Dumb" blondes are the ones that bleach their brains out. Genetically, they're typically brunette. And stupid.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147675)

Butthurt natural blonde detected.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147913)

LOL! I didn't even think of that when I posted, but you're right. It does sound kinda like that.

But I'm quite brunette, though it was kinda red when I was very young.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47148137)

Sometimes, they use hypnotherapy [huffingtonpost.com] to achieve the same effect.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149125)

This is true. I have met a couple naturally dumb blondes but most I have met (at Stanford, and in fields of science, medicine, and a law) are near genius level. Just look around a bit at the Founder, C & D level. Same for men and women. It may just be silicon valley but I have have noticed a bit more, because I am blonde too. I have also met so many brunettes and asians with higher than normal intelligence. One question I have to raise honestly is: Why? Why do I see many hispanic or African Americans in minority for anything that requires more than a week of training? Yet, I see immigrants from India over-saturating technology (I do not like this as most are below average) and pleasantly abundant in medical professions. I see very few Hispanics and Indian in the legal profession. I know this is a loaded question of which I have my own theories of chance, family, and economic status. I believe economics effect younger people - children; as having few resources effects the perception of opportunity. Then when it does not matter in terms of education loans and grants, it is too late; the mind has been 'set'.

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47151243)

Because its much easier for blacks to just depend on Obuma for a handout

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47151707)

A large number of the Hispanics in the US are the people that couldn't find work in their home countries in Latin America because of lack of education and/or lower than average intelligence. That is one reason people that come from those countries with a TN or other visa usually requiring a degree sometimes don't want to associate with the ones that are in the US illegally. It would be like your Stanford blondes wanting to hang out with Honey Boo Boo's family.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147669)

I see where the terminology 'dumb blonde' comes from now.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147685)

Doubtful. Unless you throw in Asians average higher IQ, I've seen no correlation between IQ and hair color. I'm in Triple Nine, top 0.1% of the general population. Women tend to be very unrepresented as a whiole, but of those it seems to be a pretty representative bunch hair color wise.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147821)

Perhaps the Triple Nine needs to learn use a browser with a spellchecker?

And are you a member of Mensa by any chance?

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148429)

I'm at work... stuck with an old version of IE, but thanks for checking.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148675)

It takes a special kind of stupidity to casually announce that Asians are smarter than white or black people, with no evidence of explanation whatsoever. And it is very consistent with the Mensa Triple Nine Cool Kids bragging. The only thing you're missing is that you didn't say you're a Libertarian.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149151)

Sorry that it offends you, but Asians score higher on average than any other ethnic group. Facts are facts, and the fact that you do not like them doesn't change it.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147691)

Heaven forbid that we have to admit the truth - that white people are (obviously) the most intelligent race on the planet. What the hell have Australian aborigines ever invented? What have Africans done for humanity?

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (3, Insightful)

Evtim (1022085) | about 3 months ago | (#47147929)

Obvious troll is obvious but still....

Q: What have Africans done for humanity?
A: Everything, since as far as we know Homo Sapiens evolved there.

Your question reminds me the hilarious "What the Romans did for us" gag...

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148083)

The smart ones moved on, but the ones that stayed never moved beyond the stone age.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150545)

Iron age, actually.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148165)

"Q: What have Africans done for humanity?
A: Everything, since as far as we know Homo Sapiens evolved there."

WTF? Is THAT your answer? That's like saying

"Q: What have APES done for humanity?
A: Everything, since as far as we know Homo Sapiens evolved from apes."

Nice try though. So presumably you believe you're a rational, sane person? Yet you can't even answer a simple question?

Q: What have Africans done for humanity?

What have AFRICANS invented? I'm not talking about WHITE PEOPLE, although clearly you have some strange need to deny they exist. Apparently white people are actually 'Africans'.

Thanks for proving, yet again, that liberals are insane...

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (5, Informative)

jmrives (1019046) | about 3 months ago | (#47148599)

It is unfortunate that most people -- even modern Africans -- are unaware of the ancient achievements that came out of Africa.

Many of the modern high-school level concepts in mathematics were first developed in Africa -- as was the first method of counting. These concepts include division and multiplication of fractions and geometric formulas to calculate the area and volume of shapes. They also invented mathematical methods for measuring distances and the use of angles -- including dividing a circle into 360 degrees and an early estimate of pi.

Eight thousand years ago, people in present-day Zaire developed their own numeration system, as did Yoruba people in what is now Nigeria. The Yoruba system was based on units of 20 (instead of 10) and required an impressive amount of subtraction to identify different numbers. Scholars have lauded this system, as it required much abstract reasoning.

This is just in the area of mathematics. Several ancient African cultures birthed discoveries in astronomy. Many of these are foundations on which we still rely, and some were so advanced that their mode of discovery still cannot be understood. Egyptians charted the movement of the sun and constellations and the cycles of the moon. They divided the year into 12 parts and developed a yearlong calendar system containing 365 ¼ days. Clocks were made with moving water and sundial-like clocks were used.

Many advances in metallurgy and tool making were made across the entirety of ancient Africa. These include steam engines, metal chisels and saws, copper and iron tools and weapons, nails, glue, carbon steel and bronze weapons and art.

Advances in Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago surpassed those of Europeans then and were astonishing to Europeans when they learned of them. Ancient Tanzanian furnaces could reach 1,800C — 200 to 400C warmer than those of the Romans.

There are plenty of other examples in areas such as architecture, engineering, medicine and navigation.

Here are some references for your perusal:

  • 1. Kresge, N. “A history of black scientists.” ASBMB Today. February 2011.
  • 2. Van Sertima, I. “The Lost Sciences of Africa: An Overview.” Blacks in Science: Ancient and Modern. 7 – 26 (1983).

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (2)

Arker (91948) | about 3 months ago | (#47149153)

"It is unfortunate that most people -- even modern Africans -- are unaware of the ancient achievements that came out of Africa. "

People tend to calcify the situation of very recent history and project it earlier - it's as natural and understandable a tendency as it is regrettable. A longer term view would resolve these little bugbears easily.

The Europeans have been ascendant for a few hundred years, but before that it was a backwater. East and North Africa on the other hand are ancient population centres that have seen civilizations rise and fall repeatedly from the beginning, which have been ascendant not once but multiple times over the course of history.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149725)

Peanut Butter!

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47151165)

WRONG!!! Google history of peanut butter abd read any one of the links.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150191)

Hilarious...

"Eight thousand years ago, people in present-day Zaire developed their own numeration system, as did Yoruba people in what is now Nigeria. The Yoruba system was based on units of 20 (instead of 10) and required an impressive amount of subtraction to identify different numbers. Scholars have lauded this system, as it required much abstract reasoning. "

Surely that was a hundred thousand years ago? How about a million years ago? LOL...

"Throughout 6,000 years of recorded history, the Black African Negro has invented nothing. Not a written language, weaved cloth, a calendar, a plow, a road, a bridge, a railway, a ship, a system of measurement, or even the wheel. He is not known to have ever cultivated a single crop or domesticated a single animal for his own use. His only known means of transporting goods was on the top of his hard burry head. For shelter he never progressed beyond the common mud hut, the construction of which a beaver or muskrat is capable."

ANTHROPOLOGY

FACT #21: The name Homo sapien was first used by the 18th Century Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus. The word "sapien" means "wise." The name was originally used to speak of the White man and synonymous with "europaeus." As a result, many later taxonomists and geneticists believed that Negroes and other races should be classified as different species. In fact, Darwin declared in The Descent of Man that the varieties of mankind are so distinct that similar differences found in any other animal would warrant their classification in different species, if not different genera. (39)

FACT #22: For his mammoth work, The Origin of Races, Professor Carleton Coon, President of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the premier geneticist of the world, assembled massive evidence from geography, anatomy, genetics, physiology, comparative dentition, linguistics, archeology, and fossil records from 300 bone-bearing sites to verify his theory of pre-sapien racianation." In other words, Homo erectus was divided by race even before evolution into Homo sapien stage. (12)

FACT #23: According to Dr. Coon, while the Caucasoid subspecies (the White race) was evolving in Europe, the Negro race was standing still on the evolutionary plane and is today no less than 200,000 years behind the European in skull and brain development. (9)

FACT #24: The Negro skull, in addition to having a smaller brain volume and thicker cranial bones than that of the White, is prognathous; i.e., the lower face projects forward, rather in the manner of an animal's muzzle. In consequence, the Negro jaw is substantially longer, relative to its width, than the White jaw. A feature of the Negro lower jaw is its retention of a vestige of the "simian shelf," a bony region immediately behind the incisors. The simian shelf is a distinguishing characteristic of apes, and it is absent in Whites. (9) (12) (39)

FACT #25: The skin of the Negro is thicker and possibly superior to the White's in the way it impedes the penetration of germs and in its protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. (39) (14)

FACT #26: The dark color of the Negro is due to melanin pigment which is spread through every layer of the skin and is found even in the muscles and brain. (9) (27)

FACT #27: An African dentist can tell a Negro's tooth from a white man's at a glance. (14)

FACT #28: Negroes have arms which are longer, relative to body height, than those of Whites. This feature, together with their much thicker cranial bones, gives Black athletes an advantage over Whites in boxing. The skeletal and muscular peculiarities of Negroes' lower limbs have given them considerable success as sprinters, but have left them relative undistinguished as distance runners. (39) (27)

ADDITIONAL DIFFERENCES

The hair is black, crispy, and "woolly" in texture, it is flat and elliptical with no central canal or duct like the hair of Europeans.
The nose is thick, broad and flat, often turned up nostrils exposing the red inner lining of the mucous membrane similar to an ape.
The arms and legs of the Negro are relatively longer than the European. The humerus is a trifle shorter and the forearm longer thereby approximating the simian form.
The eyes are prominent, iris black and the orbits large. The eye often has a yellowish sclerotic coat over it like that of a gorilla.
The Negro has a shorter trunk; the cross-section of the chest is more circular than whites. The pelvis is narrower and longer as it is in an ape.
The mouth is wide with very thick, large and protruding lips.
Negro skin has a thick superficial horny layer which resists scratching and impedes the penetration of germs.
The Negro has a larger and shorter neck akin to that of anthropoids.
The cranial sutures are more simple than in the white type and close together earlier.
The ears are roundish, rather small, standing somewhat high and detached thus approaching the simian form.
The Negro is more powerfully developed from the pelvis down and the white more powerfully developed in the chest.
The jaw is larger and stronger and protrudes outward which, along with lower retreating forehead, gives a facial angle of 68 to 70 degrees as opposed to a facial angle of 80 to 82 degrees for Europeans.
The hands and fingers are proportionally narrower and longer. The wrist and ankles are shorter and more robust.
The frontal and paricial bones of the cranium are less excavated and less capacious. The skull is thicker especially on the sides.
The brain of the Negro on the average is 9 to 20% smaller than whites.
The teeth are larger and are wider apart than in the white race.
The three curvatures of the spine are less pronounced in the Negro than in the white and thus more characteristic of an ape.
The femur of the Negro is less oblique, the tibia (shin bone) more curved and bent forward, the calf of the leg high and but little developed.
The heel is broad and projecting, the foot long and broad but slightly arched causing flat soles, the great toe is shorter than in the white.
The two bones proper of the nose are occasionally united, as in apes.
FACT #30: Blood group studies made during WWII suggest the American Negro gene pool is about 28% white. --This despite all manner of institutional discrimination, social segregation, etc. Keep in mind that the results of test from true Black Africans would show even bigger differences from Whites. (32) (14)

SOURCES
African Business Magazine, Dec. '91
American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 92, pg 822+
American Renaissance, Dec. '90, Box 2504, Menlo Park, CA 94026
American Sociological Review, Vol 45, pg. 859
Basham, A.L., The Wonder That Was India, Grove Press, New York, NY 1954
Buckley, William F. syndicated column, Jan. 5. 1993
"But What about Africa?" Harper's, May '90
"The Christian Heritage of South Africa Under Attack!", Peter Hammond, Herald the Coming, Dec. '92.
Coon, Carleton S. The Origin of Races, 1962, Alfred A. Knopf
Fagan, Myron C. How the Greatest White Nations Were Mongrelized - Then Negroized, Sons of Liberty Books.
Fields, Dr. Ed, The Dangers of Interracial Marriage, PO Box 1211, Marietta, GA 30061
Howells, William. Mankind So Far, Doubleday, Garden City, NY 1945.
Harris, Marvin, 1981. Why Nothing Works. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY
Jacob, A. White Man, Think Again! 1965, publ. by author.
Jensen, Arthur R. Bias in Mental Testing, The Free Press, New York 1980
Jensen, Arthur R. Straight Talk About Mental Tests, the Free Press. (Macmillan) New York, 1981
McCall's, May '92, pg 76
McGurk, Frank, "A Scientist's Report on Race Differences." U.S. News and World Report, Sept. 21, 1956. Washington, D.C.
Pearson, Roger, Eugenics and Race, 1966, Noontide Press
Pearson, Roger. Race, Intelligence, and Bias in Academe, Scott-Townsend Publishers, N.W. Washington, D.C.
Pendell, Elmer, Sex Versus Civilization, Noontide Press.
Putnam, Carleton. Race and Reason, 1961, Howard Allen Press, Cape Canaveral, FL
Putnam, Carleton. Race and Reality, a Search for Solutions, 1967, Howard Allen, Box 76, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Putnam, Carleton. A Study in Racial Realities, an address at the University of California at Davis, Dec. 17, 1964
Scott, Ralph. Education and Ethnicity: The U.S. Experiment in School Integration, Scott-Townsend. Washington, D.C. 1989
Shuey, Audrey H., The Testing of Negro Intelligence, Social Science Press, New York, 1966
Simpson, William Gayley. Which Way Western Man? 1978, National Alliance Press, Box 3535, Washington, D. C. 20007
Social Forces, Vol. 69, pg.1+, Sept. '90
"South Africa: Time to Choose Sides" Soldier of Fortune, Dec. '89.
Snyderman, Mark, and Rothman, Stanely. The IQ Controversy, the Media and Public Policy. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ 1990.
Stell v Savannah-Chattham County Board of Education, U.S. District Court, Southern Georgia, May 13, 1963.
Taylor, Jared, Paved with Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America. 1992, Carrol & Graf. New York, NY
World Almanacs, '88, '89, '90, '91, '92
United Nations World Census, 1990
Van Loon, Henrick, 1940, Van Loon's Geography, Garden City Publ.
The Voice, Feb. 27, 1990.
Waddell, L. A. The Makers of Civilization, 1929, Angriff Press, Hollywood, CA
Weisman, Charles A. America: Free, White and Christian, 1989, SFA, Box 766-c, LaPorte, CO 80535
Weisman, Charles A. The Origins of Race and Civilization, 1990, SFA
Weyl, Nathaniel. The Geography of American Achievement, Scott-Townsend, Washington, D.C. 1989.
Martin Luther King (Man Behind the Myth) by Des Griffin.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47151615)

Haha, great troll. Dr. Carleton "Coon" indeed :P

I was about to link to list #26 in "How to shut up a pseudoscientist", which specifically focuses on the enormously disproven things you mentioned, but you saved me the effort by outing yourself as a troll :)

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149601)

> What have Africans done for humanity?

We wouldn't have had the opportunity to provide so much charity without them. They make us better people.

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150581)

What have Africans done for humanity?

Nigerian email scams?

Re:gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147707)

That's racist!

gene linked to intelligence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147837)

So, is this blond hair gene linked to intelligence? I wouldn't be surprised,. . .

From what i understand this gene is not directly linked to intelligence but only indirectly (as other genes directly linked to appearance) - on average, white people are much more intelligent than black people (citation: "The Bell Curve"), but... i don't expect "blondes" to understand that!

 

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147919)

Citing the bell curve?,LMFAO

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148247)

We don't need to cite anything - just look at WHITE countries, and look at all the third world shitholes in Africa.

Do you have something to DISPROVE the poster above's comments? (That white people are much more intelligent than black people.)

Please, we've got all day...

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (1)

jmrives (1019046) | about 3 months ago | (#47148629)

Based on your system, all we have to do is look at Greece to conclude that Western Europeans are much more intelligent than the Greeks.

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148909)

and that greeks are much more intelligent than africans.

Re: gene linked to intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47151631)

You cannot come at a religious argument with logic. It is like kicking water uphill. Just let the idiots believe what they want, the masses of children the government supports for them can be better educated and actually be useful in the world. These people are too far gone; they are dead weight to mankind. Luckily they kill themselves off pretty regularly though.

MUTANTS AMONG US! (5, Funny)

captain_nifty (132748) | about 3 months ago | (#47147727)

Although their powers are not very impressive.

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (2)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 3 months ago | (#47147801)

Although their powers are not very impressive.

You mean our powers to change color after exposure to the sun for long periods? Ok well we aren't chameleons but you have to start somewhere.

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 3 months ago | (#47147871)

What about their ability to star in movies and get everyone to help them everywhere my pretending to be dumb and helpless? (Source: my wife is blonde.)

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#47147923)

In all fairness, the help your wife receives may be due to being female moreso than being blonde. How attractive she is may also be a significant factor, although being blonde may make her appear more attractive to many.

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47147979)

You mean our powers to change color after exposure to the sun for long periods?

*phbtbtbtbt* I have the ability to change color after very brief exposure to the sun. ;-)

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 months ago | (#47148197)

Who needs the sun when you've got peroxide?

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about 3 months ago | (#47149743)

Yup. 10min and I go from white to red.

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 4 months ago | (#47151227)

Yup. 10min and I go from white to red.

White... I'm a Scot by birth. I tan white. Naturally I'm a shade of pale blue.

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 3 months ago | (#47148109)

Recently, there was an article that described blue eyes as the result of a genetic mutation. So I'm the world's most boring mutant: Blue Eyed Guy. I have the powers of having blue eyes. All the time. I thought being a mutant would be more exciting than this.

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (1)

sootman (158191) | about 3 months ago | (#47148525)

I beg to differ. [blogspot.com]

Re:MUTANTS AMONG US! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#47149003)

Now for the hard part, making straight hair curly, and making curly hair straight

News just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147729)

Using Perl instead of PHP changed the way a website performed.
Wait, that is a terrible analogy. Screw it.

I assumed this was already known.
That is quite sad. (the letter part, not gene encoding)
Now I can see why we struggle in such research. Seems far more complex than we realize.
This has seemingly opened up a whole new ball-game. Oh god, a huge one at that. This increases DNA complexity through the roof and then some.
This is like the step between a dictionary defining words to a dictionary being defined by ATOMS.

Blonde Scientists? (5, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 months ago | (#47147807)

Scientists have found that replacing one of DNA's four letters

DNA is only three letters.

Re:Blonde Scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147833)

ACGT: I count 4.

Re:Blonde Scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147891)

There are FOUR lights!

Re:Blonde Scientists? (3, Funny)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47148135)

It would almost be worthwhile to work helpdesk again, if I could answer Patrick Stewart when he calls because his broadband is down...

"Mr. Stewart, if you look at the front of your cablemodem, you'll see five lights..."

Re:Blonde Scientists? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47148031)

OP is a dyed blonde.

Re:Blonde Scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148055)

ooookay... ^^^ didn't get the joke

Re:Blonde Scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150409)

And of course I, X, and m5C

This stuff gets complicated....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleobase

Re:Blonde Scientists? (2)

GoCrazy (1608235) | about 3 months ago | (#47147835)

I think they replaced the silent J.

Re:Blonde Scientists? (1)

oracleofbargth (16602) | about 3 months ago | (#47148043)

No, it's silent Bob. J is rather talkative.

Re:Blonde Scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148059)

There are 4 base pairs, AGCT, two of which are associated with the double strand. When three of the base pairs from a single strand are read in the correct sequence, those three base pairs correspond to a single amino acid, the building block of all proteins.

Re:Blonde Scientists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148829)

But there's still only three letters. ;)

But I was hoping for Ginger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147883)

Next they need to work out the sequence for Ginger (Red for you Americans) Hair!

Re:But I was hoping for Ginger! (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47148049)

Next they need to work out the sequence for Ginger (Red for you Americans) Hair!

Hear, hear!

Who cares about yellow hair when there are attractive women.

Re:But I was hoping for Ginger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148281)

Blonde mating call: "I'm SO drunk!"

Brunette mating call: "Has the blonde left yet?"

Ginger mating call: "Next!" *SNAP*

Re:But I was hoping for Ginger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149737)

You can sleep with a blonde. You can sleep with a brunette. With a redhead, you don't get time to sleep.

Re:But I was hoping for Ginger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47151583)

"Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger"

Re:But I was hoping for Ginger! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148239)

Ginger hair isn't a result of a DNA sequence change...

It's God's warning to the rest of humanity that the person HAS NO SOUL!

Re:But I was hoping for Ginger! (1)

Arker (91948) | about 3 months ago | (#47148913)

If memory serves the suggestion was made in the article that the same sequence is responsible for both blondes and redheads, by lightening the underlying color, which without lightening comes out brunette either way.

It's a gene (4, Informative)

yesterdaystomorrow (1766850) | about 3 months ago | (#47147899)

Originally, "gene" meant "heritable element". Outside of molecular biology, it still does. That DNA can encode the construction of protein was the first connection molecular biologists discovered from genotype to phenotype. This caused them to mistakenly redefine "gene", because they supposed it was the only connection. Since they have now found other kinds of heritable elements in DNA, it is time for them to revert to the older definition, and come up with some other term for the subset of genes that encode protein.

Re:It's a gene (2, Informative)

the biologist (1659443) | about 3 months ago | (#47148123)

ORF (Open Reading Frame) is typically used for the case you described, and has been for some time now.

Re:It's a gene (2)

yesterdaystomorrow (1766850) | about 3 months ago | (#47148577)

ORF (Open Reading Frame) is typically used for the case you described, and has been for some time now.

I don't think that's what I'm getting at. To switch to a different set of metaphors, "ORF" is a syntactic term while "gene" is a semantic term. Only a subset of ORFs are transcribed, as I understand it. A sequence of letters and spaces ending with a period is not necessarily a meaningful sentence.

In any case, the original article claimed that blondness was not controlled by a "gene". But by the old definition of "gene" that's nonsense. Someone working in, say, evolutionary dynamics would certainly call the controlling element here a "gene".

Re:It's a gene (2)

the biologist (1659443) | about 4 months ago | (#47151495)

The ENCODE project has shown that effectively every piece of DNA is transcribed at some level. All ORFs are transcribed, but we don't always know a function/meaning associated with them. We keep finding transcribed sequences to be important which we had previously attributed to noise. There are even proteins with well-recognized functions that appear to have been derived from random noise-sequences.

There isn't a need to switch to metaphor with such a simple concept as this and doing so only confuses your meaning. "Syntactic term" vs. "semantic term" are near-meaningless phrases to me, even with the assistance of google. Both "orf" and "gene" are terms in common use that have specific and implied meanings in different contexts.

Someone in molecular and computational biology (like me) would also call the controlling element a gene. Science journalism is far too often full of such odd definitions and misunderstandings.

Re:It's a gene (2)

yesterdaystomorrow (1766850) | about 4 months ago | (#47151693)

Someone in molecular and computational biology (like me) would also call the controlling element a gene. Science journalism is far too often full of such odd definitions and misunderstandings.

The "gene encodes a protein" idea still seems quite common in educational efforts that at least *ought* to have real scientists behind them. See, for example, page 4 of http://www.genome.gov/Pages/Ed... [genome.gov] . One who monitors the science news also will frequently encounter press releases like "We sequenced organism X's genome and it contains (pick a number) genes, compared to the (human gene count du jour)." Presumably molecular biologists provided these numbers, but they appear to refer to protein coding sequences only. Oh, well, it's no sillier than counting galaxies (I'm an astrophysicist, and we pretend to do that frequently).

Re:It's a gene (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148221)

So, now that we know that children inherit intestinal flora from their mothers we should call those genes too? If you inherit money, is that a gene. Molecular biology has done a good job defining what a gene is. If there are other things inherited, they can get their own names.

Rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147927)

It has nothing to do with genetics. Rather, it's head trauma with peroxide.

Let the jokes begin (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47147995)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car and was pulled over by a woman police officer who was also a blonde.

The blonde cop asked to see the blondes' driver's license. She dug through her purse and was getting progressively more agitated.

"What does it look like?" she finally asked.

The policewoman replied, "It's square and it has your picture on it."

The driver finally found a square mirror in her purse, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman. "Here it is," she said.

The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back saying, "OK, you can go. I didn't realize you were a cop."

Re:Let the jokes begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149201)

Why don't I ever get pulled over by airheads?? :(

Re:Let the jokes begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149923)

The whole dumb blonde thing is simply the racism of those who think they are not racist. There's nothing so convenient for your contempt as a class of people whom everybody agrees can safely be despised. The fact that you buy into the common view of blondes does not indicate that you are a sensitive, liberal soul. Quite the reverse.

Apparently so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148005)

Since I read it in my _paper_ a couple of days ago.

obvious (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#47148097)

Yes, color changes are extremely commonly simple changes. The protein can change by 1 atom and it's a different color. This is basic genetic.

They failed to mention the much more interesting and strange genetic feature. Every human being on the planet is more attracted to light colored hair than dark because, evolution-wise, it indicates being younger and thus more likely to have a healthy baby in theory. So it's a shame that ugly, dominant traits are taking over every gene pool in the world. They better get on genetic engineering in a hurry because it'd suck if everyone got a little bit uglier.

Oh btw that's not racist, because first of all every race in existence has black haired members in it and secondly, the attraction gene is proven scientific fact but that won't stop the shitstorm anyway from overly-sensitive racist morons, I'm sure.

Re:obvious (1)

Calavar (1587721) | about 3 months ago | (#47148385)

This is complete and utter bullshit. Just look at chimps, which are born with black hair that greys (i.e. gets lighter) as they age. Same with gorillas. Or arctic animals, such as foxes and hares, which have white hair during the winter and darker (usually brown) hair during the mating season.

When we look at humans, most races only have black and very dark brown hair. So why would there be any hard-wired preference for a trait that doesn't exist? Furthermore, if you were right, wouldn't middle/upper class women in Africa and India dye their hair bright colors? But they don't. And, anecdotally, I've always found brown hair more attractive then blond hair, although I suppose I'm an evolutionary freak in your eyes.

The western attraction to light hair is a media-driven phenomenon. We are showered with ads that tell us that thin, blond haired, tanned women are the physical ideal. Meanwhile, media in China and India goes in the exact opposite direction: Light skin is highly valued, and tan models from western media are often seen as ugly. And before you turn around and try to claim that this is a racial thing, it isn't. Just go back to Victorian times: 19th century Western Europeans preferred women with very light skin and a bit of meat on them, not the darker skinned thin-as-a-stick models of today.

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148561)

Actually, all you have to look at to see that he's wrong is the "ganguro" phenomenon in Japan. There's actually a rather infamous music video ("Galosengen" by Policeman) showing the male variant, known as GAL (picture Japanese people trying to look like Super Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z).

Essentially, ganguro consists of Japanese girls getting dark tans and bleaching their hair to look like California valley girls.. or at least what they think those look like. Some take it to an extreme (the so-called "manba"), going so far as to look nearly African. Most mainstream Japanese people don't like it and view ganguro girls and GALs as the Japanese equivalent of chavs.

Interestingly, most of the people who find ganguro attractive are fetishists (there's plenty on 4chan's alternative hentai board, and also on pixiv), who view them as being extremely sexually loose and enjoy the idea of girls being "corrupted" into ganguro, usually with heavy piercings and tattoos and a strong element of NTR/cuckolding.

Re:obvious (1)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#47148821)

Queen Elizabeth I put lead-based white-paint on her face because she didn't want to look "tan" like people who work outdoors for a living.

Then the tan was a status symbol meaning you could travel to foreign countries. Now it's a symbol that you're a cheap holiday maker / self-tanner who goes just for the look of the thing and, thus, it's out of fashion.

It's never as simple as "trait X is more attractive", even in genetics.

Re:obvious (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 3 months ago | (#47149023)

No Queen Elizabeth I put lead-based white paint on her face because she was horribly disfigured by smallpox in 1563. Either you are not English or are woefully ignorant of our history.

Re:obvious (1)

the biologist (1659443) | about 3 months ago | (#47148451)

Every human being on the planet is more attracted to light colored hair than dark because, evolution-wise, it indicates being younger and thus more likely to have a healthy baby in theory.

This appears to be a pretty dramatically unfounded statement. I would be interested in your evidence for this claim, however.

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148725)

Actually blonde hair is considered disgusting in some places where the only blondes are albinos, besides attraction to juvenile features only works for men. This is a very interesting outburst of your chauvinist worldview.

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149753)

It only applies to men, and it could be an element of his chauvinist worldview, but it isn't chauvinistic to realize that history was mostly formed by men, their sexual preferences led gene selection not those of women. Plus men being attracted to younger girls could also explain why girls are attracted to older or more established men (although there are lots of reasons why this is the case).

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47149955)

Albinos are not blond, as a second's consideration would tell you. You are an idiot.

Re:obvious (1)

Arker (91948) | about 3 months ago | (#47148877)

"They failed to mention the much more interesting and strange genetic feature. Every human being on the planet is more attracted to light colored hair than dark"

They failed to mention that because it's bullshit.

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150047)

Redheads, arrrrgggggggggglllllllllllllllllll......

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47151701)

blah blah buncha crap blah blah... the attraction gene is proven scientific fact .. butthurtedness and whining...

If you knew anything about science, you would know that people who take science seriously instantaneously disregard any clause (and often the rest of the tirade) affixed with "proven scientific fact", as that's almost exactly like saying "diet sugar" or "fat free lard", or "blackish white". Control your anger, kiddo.

This doesn't even consider that I personally am not attracted to light hair females, and you know that old scientific saying: No amount of white geese can prove that all geese are white, but the existence of a single black one proves the opposite.

Blonde Gene? (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 months ago | (#47148399)

And did they figure out which gene makes Blondes so incredibly stupid?

Queue Julie Brown Song:
I took an IQ test and I failed it of course;
I can't spell VW but I drive a Porsche!
'Cause I'm a blonde, B-L-A-N-D,
'Cause I'm a blonde, don't you wish you were me!

Re:Blonde Gene? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#47148595)

The stupid blond is probably based on the following.
Being Blond is a rare trait. Such a trait we find interesting and somewhat attractive as it encourages genetic adversity.
Being that the blond shows genetic diversity, there are more people willing to mate with them,
Being that they are more people are willing to mate, there is less of a need to differentiate themselves as superior or better, so they follow the simplest route.

A large portion of our actions is about being attractive to the other sex. Even if you are an Alpha Geek, you are more Geeky then the next guy. If you in particular can attract and mate easier chances are you will follow a simpler route on average and not try harder.

It isn't that Blonds are naturally more stupid, it is just the environment doesn't require them to be smart.

Re:Blonde Gene? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150907)

genetic adversity.

Adversity?

+1 Blonde

Re:Blonde Gene? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150039)

You understand that that comment means you're a racist bigot, right?

Re:Blonde Gene? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47150433)

Nope, just means you are a hypersensitive blond.

Re:Blonde Gene? (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 3 months ago | (#47150555)

+1

Small genetic change, as opposed to what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47148945)

"People with Blonde hair closer to horses than humans study says"

OK, so you explained the blonde hair (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#47149587)

Now, where the heck do the blonde jokes come from? I've never seen any association between stupidity or airheadedness with blonde people.

Re:OK, so you explained the blonde hair (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 4 months ago | (#47151325)

Now, where the heck do the blonde jokes come from? I've never seen any association between stupidity or airheadedness with blonde people.

It was around 1988 or late 80's when Blond joke started in my area and group (BBS'ers), there are some great jokes that vein.

Trying to answer your question I came across this gem:

"The researchers found that the blond-haired applicant was rated as significantly less capable than her brunette doppelganger. In addition, participants designated the female applicant’s starting salary as significantly lower when she was depicted as a blonde than when she was shown with brown hair." (sic) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

(Kyle, D.J.; Mahler, H.I. (1996), "The effects of hair color and cosmetic use on perceptions of a female's ability", Psychology of Women Quarterly 20 (3): 447–455) go figure.

Check your SNP (1)

TheSync (5291) | about 4 months ago | (#47151153)

Rs12821256 [snpedia.com] , genotype (C;C) has "2x higher likelihood of blond hair" according to SNPedia (based on earlier work), but this new article claims [blogspot.jp] the G allele is associated with blonde hair. Not sure what that means...

Least we forget Scandinavia (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 4 months ago | (#47151237)

Where Blue eyes and Blond hair originated.

The subject itself is a troll gimme, as is the best answer in the link https://answers.yahoo.com/ques... [yahoo.com]

Having Blond hair and Blue eyes I traced their evolution long ago, Scandinavia was the origin; for a fast post the link was the first hit.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?