Exploring the Cell, by Dr. Danielle Hamilton

Next in our weekly series of articles, Dr. Danielle Hamilton, a Research Scientist with the Centre for Chromosome Biology, writes about her work “Exploring the Cell” and how understanding how a cell repairs damage to its DNA may lead to the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Diagram of the internal structures of the cell. (Image credit: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/science-behind/genetics-overview/)
Diagram of the internal structures of the cell. (Image credit: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/science-behind/genetics-overview/)

Every living creature is made up of one or more cells, and humans are no exception. These microscopic structures are the building blocks of our bodies and each is programmed to perform a specific function. Cells of the same type are often found clustered together and communicate with each other to form the tissues and organs that make up a functioning organism. Continue reading “Exploring the Cell, by Dr. Danielle Hamilton”

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OUR BODIES: The origins and distribution of Red Hair.

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Picture courtesy Prof. James McInerney

With temperatures soaring this week, it’s definitely time to slap on the sunscreen, particularly for those with fairer skin and red hair. But where does red hair come from, what is its genetic basis and where is it most common?

Most people with red hair have two recessive alleles (alleles are different forms of the same genes inherited from your parents) for the gene coding for the MC1R protein. These ‘homozygous recessive’ individuals produce a higher level of the yellow-reddish phaeomelanin pigment to those with two dominant alleles (homozygous dominant) or one dominant and one recessive (heterozygous), where the brown-black eumelanin is more prominent. Continue reading “OUR BODIES: The origins and distribution of Red Hair.”