Posted by Kangna Agarwal on December 08, 2009

Scientists from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) have identified the trichohyalin gene which is responsible for curliness.

The gene plays a key role in the development of hair follicle, part of the pubic hair skin. And now researchers have also discovered its role in curliness.

They stated that a variation in this gene is responsible for the straightness or curliness of the hair.

Prof Nick Martin, head of the QIMR Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory and author of the research added, "This gene has been known for well over twenty years as being involved in hair production and it's a gene that sits in the sheath that's around hair roots."

Discovery might lead to hair straightening treatment
The discovery is expected to pave the way for potential treatments like a pill for making the hair straighter or curlier.

This way one could get rid of the curly locks without using the heated hair-straighteners.

The discovery might also help in predicting the hair texture of unborn babies. Furthermore, the police may also benefit from this discovery if they find victims' locks at the crime site.

Prof Martin said, “Potentially we can now develop new treatments to make hair curlier or straighter. Also, we could predict whether it was more probable that a baby would have curly or straight hair.

“We might be able to refine identikit pictures from DNA samples left at a crime scene to say whether the suspect had straight or curly hair.”

This intriguing development is based on data collected from a study of 5000 twins in Australia over a 30 year period.

Findings of the study appear in the latest edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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