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Glenn Nichols, surrounded by his hospice team. The author is in yellow.

Genetic Linkage

Redhead Gene Doubles Melanoma Risk, Without Sun

April 20, 2016

Tags: melanoma, MC1R, redhead

Variants of the melanocortin-1-receptor (MC1R) gene impart the red hair, fair skin, and freckles of a Prince Harry or Wilma Flintstone – and also poorer protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation and therefore higher risk of developing skin cancers, including melanoma. But a new study published in JAMA Dermatology reveals that MC1R genotype alone more than doubles the risk of melanoma.

The Ginger Gene
Many colorful creatures owe their distinctive phenotypes to MC1R variants, from red pandas and ruffed lemurs, to Golden retrievers and brown cavefish and Kuzakh fat-rumped sheep. Orangutans are an exception – their hue arises from a different gene. (more…)

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