It's not surprising that redheads are at higher risk for developing skin cancer, because they generally have lower levels of melanin in their skin. But scientists uncovered a surprising fact about a gene variant associated with red hair that can exist in non-redheads. This "silent" gene, which is a genetic variant of MC1R, is present in redheads, but not exclusively. Redheads have two strains of the gene, but there are people with blonde or light brown hair that may carry a single strain, and even that can increase the risk of sun-related skin cancer. The effect of the gene is comparable to 20 years of sun exposure, in terms of cancerous changes. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.
Written by Curiosity Staff July 23, 2016
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