In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, today’s Video of the Day features a look at the science behind what makes redheads unique. The clip comes thanks to the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series.
It all starts with melanin. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes that make two different varieties: eumelanin and pheomelanin . The majority of people produce a brown-black eumelanin that causes a wide variety of skin and hair colors from blonde to black. But redheads have a specific genetic variant where their cells produce a reddish pheomelanin instead. As a result, they have lighter skin and bright red hair.
By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer
Source: American Chemical Society