Sunday, June 24, 2012

As If We Needed a Reason

If you're interested in red hair, as who among us is not, you should check out this post on Pharyngula.

It considers the problems with this particular coloring--mainly outrageous but understandable jealousy among the less-fortunate, and I guess also "making red hair actually depletes the body of a protective substance, and has the side-effect of producing carcinogens"--and of why, in light of this disadvantage, red hair has survived as a trait at all.

My theory is, pure awesomeness, but there's also some discussion of a new paper hypothesizing that it might be associated with a lower risk of certain diseases. Those associated with excess cysteine, to be exact, and I'm sure I need hardly mention that these include rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

There's no actual evidence that this is true, but I think enormous quantities of funding should immediately be dumped into research on the question.

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