Hair-Curling Gene Found
Findings may pave way for a hair-straightening pill
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Dec 8, 2009 11:45 AM CST
Australian researchers have discovered a gene linked to curly hair.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Scientists have discovered the root of curly hair, potentially paving the way for a hair-straightening pill. But don't throw out your hot irons yet—the findings, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, will probably first be applied to the field of forensics. Understanding curls could help cops catch criminals based on DNA left at the scene, the lead researcher tells the Telegraph.

The research focused on a gene called trichohyalin. In a study of 8,000 twins of European descent, the Australian team found this particular gene leads to curly hair, possibly by changing the balance of amino acids. The findings will also make it possible to predict whether a baby will have straight or curly hair. Although, that is not a tough task—90% of babies inherit a parent's curls.

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