Scientists say that the population of redheads might go extinct one day


People with red hair, who are also known as redheads, might be at risk of extinction. This is because recent studies suggest that the population of redheads might become extinct one day. The genetic mutation responsible for red hair is known as MC1R. This mutation is responsible for the production of a red pigment called phaeomelanin. Phaeomelanin is what makes their hair red in color.

This mutation can only be found in the gene called MC1R. The problem is that this gene is recessive in nature. It means that people can inherit this gene only if both of their parents have it. In simple words, if a person wants to be a redhead, both of their parents need to possess the MC1R gene.

Scientists have estimated that only 1-2% of the entire world's population has red hair. They also estimate that approximately 6-18% of the human population carry the MC1R gene variant. Due to the recessive nature of the gene, the population of redheads is not increasing.

One important factor contributing to the potential extinction of redheads is genetic dilution. When populations become more diverse because of intermarriage, the possibility of 2 people carrying the MC1R gene variant having children together reduces.

Another factor is that redheads are more prone to certain types of skin cancer, like melanoma. This susceptibility makes them face a risk of having a shorter lifespan. Although it is not possible to predict the fate of the redhead population accurately, it is clear that the presence of their genetic mutation is becoming less common day by day.

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