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Fab facts: redheads

Host: Grant Hackett
Friday, May 22, 2009

Will redheads become extinct?
Redheads currently make up 2 percent of the world's population, but some genetics scientists are predicting they could be extinct within 100 years.

This is due to global intermingling. Even though it only takes one red-haired parent to produce ginger-headed babies, two redheads obviously create a much stronger possibility. But if people are meeting and having children with people from all over the world, the chances of redhead gene carriers meeting and having children is getting smaller.

But don't feel too sorry for your redheaded friends just yet. Some scientists say that the redhead gene can lay dormant for generations before returning — which could lead to two very surprised parents!

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More redheaded facts:

  • Approximately 40 percent of Scottish people have the redhead gene and13 percent actually have red hair.
  • National Geographic reports that at first, the redhead gene 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 are said to have a higher sensitivity to heat and cold-related pain.
  • A recent German survey found women with red hair have more active love lives than any other women. Who said blondes have more fun?

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