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The secret of a natural blond

Elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for changes in gene expression is important for understanding the evolution of morphological traits. A new study identifies the molecular basis of the association between KITLG and blond hair color, presenting an intriguing example of how a single DNA base-pair change in an upstream regulatory element can cause relatively large and specific downstream changes in phenotype.

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Figure 1: Effect of a single SNP (rs12821256) on hair color.

Debbie Maizels/Nature Publishing Group


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Correspondence to Hopi Hoekstra.

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The author declares no competing financial interests.

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Hoekstra, H. The secret of a natural blond. Nat Genet 46, 660–661 (2014).

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