News Digital Media (Sydney), August 23, 2007
REDHEADS are becoming rarer and could be extinct in 100 years, according to genetic scientists.
The current National Geographic magazine reports that less than two per cent of the world’s population has natural red hair, created by a mutation in northern Europe thousands of years ago.
Global intermingling, which broadens the availability of possible partners, has reduced the chances of redheads meeting and producing little redheads of their own.
It takes only one red-haired parent to produce ginger-headed babies, but two redheads obviously create a much stronger possibility.
If the gingers really want to save themselves they should move to Scotland.
An estimated 40 per cent of Scots carry the red gene and 13 per cent actually have red hair.
Some experts say that redheads could be gone as early as 2060, but others say the gene can be dormant for generations before returning.
National Geographic says the gene at first had the beneficial effect of increasing the body’s ability to make vitamin D from sunlight.
However, today’s carriers are more prone to skin cancer and have a higher sensitivity to heat and cold-related pain.