A genome-wide association scan in admixed Latin Americans identifies loci influencing facial and scalp hair features

A genome-wide association scan in admixed Latin Americans identifies loci influencing facial and scalp hair features

Adhikari K, et al., Balding D & Ruiz-Linares A. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 7:10815
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10815

A study published earlier this year (2016) in Nature Communications by the Centre’s Professor David Balding and colleagues disproved the assumption that children are the cause for their parents’ grey hairs. Instead, they found the genes responsible for those grey hairs, along with those linked to bushy eyebrows and patchy beards.

The genome regions associated with hair features are enriched for signals of selection, consistent with proposals regarding the evolution of human hair. See Figure 1.

fig1

Figure 1 | GWAS results overview. At the top are shown drawings illustrating the seven hair features examined in the CANDELA study sample. Thick lines connect these features with the candidate genes identified in regions with SNPs reaching genome-wide significant association. At the bottom is shown a composite Manhattan plot displaying all significantly associated SNPs for the hair features examined. The rs number of the SNP with the smallest P value is shown at the top of each association peak.

This article features in the Altmetric Top 100 2016 (#85) as it was one of the most widely discussed and shared academic papers this year, and has received a significant amount of online attention.

The article is open access and available here.