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Blond hair mystery in Solomon Islands resolved

(Xinhua)

15:52, May 07, 2012

BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Scientists have recently resolved blond hair mystery of dark-skinned inhabitants in Solomon Islands, according to a study published in the journal Science.

Five to 10 percent of inhabitants in the islands have naturally blond hair, which was considered before as a genetic relation with Europeans or the result of excess sun exposure and a diet rich in fish.

However, after scanning the DNA collected from the inhabitants, scientists from Stanford University spotted the hair-color gene "chromosome 9", which was different from the one in Europeans.

Further research proved that the gene was evolved separately, rather than inherited from European explorers or traders who visited in the preceding centuries.

"For me it breaks down any kind of simple notions you might have about race. Humans are beautifully diverse, and this is just the tip of the iceberg," said Carlos Bustamante, a geneticist of the research team.

Scientists hoped that further analyze could reveal more information from the genetic data in the islands.

(Agencies)

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