For example, did you know if you naturally have red hair, you are more sensitive to heat and heat related pain and resistant to pain medicines? There is some science behind it- red hair of course is genetic. The gene that manages skin and hair pigments is mutated in people who have red hair and therefore impacts their sensitivity to physical pain. The interesting thing is that this gene also impacts how their bodies respond to pain management medications. Rather, what is particularly interesting is that the gene mutation does not have an impact on the central nervous system, so it is not entirely clear as to why the gene impacts pain and pain management in those who have the gene mutation. Want to know something else weird about your body and its development? Brown hair and brown eyes are the default; hence they are so common. We are sure you knew that, but did you know that everyone starts off with the brown phenotype being the predominant feature? Apparently, it is similar to how all fetuses start off as “female” prior to differentiating between male and female genitalia. So, then why are some babies’ eyes blue when they're born? Blue eyes have the least amount of pigment of all of the eye colors and like everything else, pigment is one of the things that develops as babies develop. This is why it’s not uncommon for babies to start off with blue eyes that eventually change to another color, of course depending on melanin presence. Which brings us to another interesting thing about eyes- hazel vs brown. Brown and hazel eyes both have a “normal” level of melanin at their back layer, but the distinct difference in that brown eyes have a heavier presence of brown vs hazel eyes have a heavier presence of green on the front layer of the iris. People with hazel eyes have two dominant pigments (the green and brown) fighting for dominance which causes the eye color to appear to constantly change. Eye color isn’t the only thing you inherit from your parents. Well, obviously you’ll inherit looks but did you know you can inherit personality traits as well? For example, if one of your parents was a cheater, you could be genetically predisposed to be one too. Well, if you’re a guy, that is. Some men have a variation of the “thrill seeking gene” (also controls the presence of other neurological and psychological disorders like ADHD and schizophrenia respectively) that gives some men the impulse to “spread their genetic wings” and have as many offspring as possible. What is odd is that the same thing can happen in women, but it is more closely related to a mutation on their vasopressin receptor. Remember the hamsters from a previous post? Understanding hormones, their receptors, and how they can impact animal behavior as a whole will prove to be essential in understanding ourselves and how and why we interact with others in the way that we do. The more you know!
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