The Solomon Islands are home to people who are very dark-skinned. But many of them have blond hair, something that has puzzled scientists for years.
But the Daily Mail reports that a new study reveals the people of the Solomon Islands have their own gene that makes their hair blonde and it is not connected to Europe in any way. According to a science interviewed by the Daily Mail, between five and ten percent of Solomon Islanders are born with blond hair. Initially, it was assumed that their blond hair was passed on from European traders who were in the region centuries before. But that is not the case.
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Here is a breakdown of how two scientists, Nicholas Timpson and Myles, gathered their date and discovered the unique genetic traits that these brown-skinned inhabitants blond :
They asked the villagers to spit into small tubes to provide saliva to be used for DNA extraction. In the span of a month they collected more than 1,000 samples.
Soon after, Kenny joined the lab and started the analysis, selecting 43 blond- and 42 dark-haired Solomon Islanders from the opposite 10 percent extremes of the hair pigmentation range.
She used these in a genome-wide association study, a method to reveal differences in the frequency of genetic variants between two groups, that usually requires thousands of samples.
Because the vast majority of human physical characteristics analyzed to date have many genetic and environmental factors, Kenny expected an inconclusive result that would require much further study. Instead, she immediately saw a single strong signal on chromosome 9, which accounted for 50 percent of the variance in the Solomon Islanders’ hair color.
Globally, it is rare for anyone to be born with blond hair. Northern Europe and Oceania, which includes the Solomon Islands, is home to the highest concentration of blonds. Who would have ever though dark-skinned folks could be blond without a European ancestor? Just shows you have unique and diverse we as people truly are.
Go to the Daily News to learn more about the fascinating story!
WATCH this video of Blond Haired Children of New Guinea