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Amsterdam [Netherlands ] June 5 (ANI): The first-ever gene mapping study of eyebrow thickness in Europeans has found three previously unreported genetic loci, according to a letter to the editor in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, published by Elsevier. According to a study by the International Visible Trait Genetics (VisiGen) Consortium, people from different parts of the world have slightly different and slightly identical underlying genes that influence the appearance of their eyebrows.

The look of human eyebrows isn’t just a matter of grooming, it’s in the genes. Eyebrow thickness, like any other aesthetic trait, is highly heritable. Until now, genetic knowledge of eyebrow thickness has been very limited and limited exclusively to non-Europeans. This study is the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of eyebrow thickness in Europeans. By identifying new genes and rediscovering some of the previously identified genes in non-Europeans, the study expands genetic knowledge on human eyebrow variation, which is of wide interest and has implications for dermatology and other fields.

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Previous studies have been conducted among Latino and Chinese individuals, establishing four genetic loci associated with eyebrow thickness. Since no GWAS of European eyebrow thickness had been reported, the researchers did not know whether the genetic effects of eyebrow thickness described in non-Europeans persisted in Europeans, or whether there were specific genetic loci from Europe involved in eyebrow thickness, or both.

Lead researcher Prof. Dr. Manfred Kayser, Department of Genetic Identification, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, and co-chair of the VisiGen Consortium responsible for this study, commented: ‘Despite immense efforts in mapping the genes underlying the traits human complexes, we still know much more about the genes that make us sick than the ones behind our healthy appearance. For the first time, we have performed a genetic mapping study on the variation in eyebrow thickness in Europeans. The previous genetic knowledge on the eyebrow thickness was limited and limited exclusively to non-Europeans. We discovered new genes involved in eyebrow variation in Europeans and rediscovered some of the previously identified genes in non-Europeans.”

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The study among 9,948 individuals from four European ancestry groups not only uncovered three previously unreported genetic loci associated with eyebrow thickness, but also rediscovered two of four genetic loci previously found in non-Europeans. Two other genetic loci previously reported in non-Europeans had minimal effects in Europeans, due to very low allele frequencies in Europeans.

Prof. Dr. Kayser concluded: “Our study significantly improves the genetic understanding of human eyebrow appearance by increasing the number of known genes from four to seven and provides new targets for future functional studies. Having demonstrated that eyebrow variation is determined by both distinct genetic factors in continental populations, our findings underline the need to study populations of diverse origins to unravel the genetic basis of human traits, including, but not limited to, physical appearance.” (ANI)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from the syndicated news feed, LatestLY staff may not have edited or edited the body of the content)




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