The story of the black inhabitants of Melanesia with blond hair
• The story of the black inhabitants of Melanesia with blond hair
Melanesia - an island group in the Pacific Ocean, which includes New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu and other countries. The archipelago of more than a thousand islands is home to over 500 thousand Melanesians. They are owners of the darkest skin in the world outside of Africa, but in the mind of many of them are bright, as if painted, afrokudri.
Every tenth Melanesian - blond hair that representatives Australoid atypical race.
At first, scientists thought that the gene went blonde hair Melanesians of British, German and Australian colonizers who owned islands in the XIX-XX centuries and was grown here coconut plantations.
The researchers of the XIX century versions have been easier. Some believed that the islanders hair dyed coral lime. Others suggested that the hair quickly fade from the tropical sun and salt water, and others - was to blame a diet rich in fish.
And only recently has convincing hypothesis for hair color blonde Melanesians can meet random mutations.
The geneticist Sean Miles noticed that blond hair all Melanesians are of the same hue. This means that the hair color is governed by a simple mutation in a single gene, and it remains only to find her. Miles and his colleagues took saliva and hair samples from two groups of islanders: 43 blondes and brunettes 42.
group had a completely different version TYRP1 gene encoding a protein involved in pigmentation. Hair color is determined by only one amino acid in a protein - arginine instead of cysteine.
A quarter of the population of the Solomon Islands - the carriers of the mutated gene (blonde born only 10% of the population, since this gene is recessive). Blond hair color can inherit from both parents. Anthropologist at Temple University in Philadelphia Jonathan Friedlander believes that the mutation is likely to accidentally occurred to one person.
Nowhere in the world such a mutation no longer occurs, and it appeared from 5 to 30 thousand years ago.