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Scientists untangling mysteries of red hair

BRITAIN may be the most red-headed nation in the world simply because of its cloudy weather, according to a DNA project that aims to explain the "mysteries" of red hair.

Provisional statistics indicate that between 2pc and 6pc of northwest Europeans have red hair, compared with an average of 1pc or 2pc in the world population.

But in the UK and Ireland the numbers are much higher, with 13pc of Scots, 10pc of the Irish, and 6pc of individuals in England having red hair.

A project by BritainsDNA, a company that tests DNA to reveal an individual's ancestry, is currently looking at 4,000 test cases and hopes to explain exactly why Britain has so many redheads.

It can test for the gene for red hair, which can be hidden for years before appearing in a child because both parents have the gene. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent