Gray hair never again? it will be?
Discovery may lead to the creation of products that slow or prevent this feature, says research
A BBC research reveals for the first time the existence of a gene responsible for making hair gray. The finding confirms that this feature has a genetic background, and is not only caused by external factors. In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists at University College London analyzed data from more than 6,000 people in Latin America with different ancestors to identify genes associated with color, whiteness, density and shape of hair. The gene responsible for gray hair, called IRF4, was already known to play a role in the color of the strands. “We already know different genes involved in baldness and hair color, but it is the first time that a gene that makes gray hair is identified in humans, in addition to other genes that influence the shape and density of the wires,” explains the principal Author of the study, Kaustubh Adhikari, from the biological development area of the British university. According to him, this was only possible because the team analyzed a diverse universe of people, something that had not yet been done to such an extent. For the scientist, the discovery can be used in capillary aging and cosmetic studies as it broadens the understanding of how genes influence our appearance. The results can, for example, help in creating technologies to reconstruct visual profiles based on a person’s genetic information. The IRF4 gene is involved in regulating the production and storage of melanin, the pigment that ends the color of hair, skin and eyes. Bleaching is caused by the absence of melanin in the hair, so the goal now is to understand exactly what role IRF4 plays in this process. This understanding can lead to the development of products that prevent or delay the appearance of white hair. This, of course, for those who do not like this feature. Source: BBC