A geneticist in germany has linked three genes to a rare condition referred to as "uncombable hair syndrome". Although very rare, with only about 100 cases reported, 71% of cases were attributed to a mutation in the PADI3 gene. This gene is responsible for the formation of the hair shaft, and this mutation causes the hair shaft to be formed with a groove in it. This causes the hair to stand up and stick out, no matter how much it is combed. A small percentage of cases were attributed to mutations with the TGM3 or TCHH gene, but a quarter of the cases are still unexplained.
The condition seems to improve with age, and has no side effects detrimental to the health of the individual.
Relevant article: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/uncombable-hair-syndrome-gene
I wonder if this is found in any animals - particularly our primate ancestors. This trait may have been selected for at one point in time and just never left the genome entirely. It might have contributed to the warmth of a fur coat or maybe to protection from predators because hairs that stick up make the animal appear larger.ReplyDelete