biology, Blond, diversity, Europeans, Genetics, Genome, Melanesians, Popular science, science, science and society, Science in Society, Solomon Islands
On the Solomon Islands in the south-eastern Pacific, it’s not uncommon to come across Melanesian children with dark skin and remarkably blond hair. While most people might take this unusual trait as a sign of European ancestry, Sean Myles wasn’t convinced. Curious to understand how the darkest skinned people outside of Africa could also have the highest frequency of blond hair outside of Europe, he led a team of scientists to unravel the genetics behind this mystery. The striking results of their research should serve as a note of caution about what we’re learning from the rapidly growing field from human genomics.