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making it the most red-haired country in the world.According to Britain's DNA, 34.7% of the Irish population carry the allele for red hair, although this doesn't directly translate proportionally into births of red-haired children. Jim Wilson of Britain's DNA study used a sample of 2,343 people, and found red hair occurrence of 6% in Scotland, with 35% overall carrying the allele and Edinburgh having the highest proportion at 40%. The Queen of Morocco, Lalla Salma wife of king Mohammed VI, has red hair.The genetics of red hair, discovered in 1997, appear to be associated with the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), which is found on chromosome 16.
The term redhead has been in use since at least 1510.Even if both parents do not have red hair themselves, both can be carriers for the gene and have a redheaded child.Genetic studies of dizygotic (fraternal) twins indicate that the MC1R gene is not solely responsible for the red hair phenotype; unidentified modifier genes exist, making variance in the MC1R gene necessary, but not always sufficient, for red hair production.Eighty percent of redheads have an MC1R gene variant.Red hair can originate from several changes on the MC1R-gene.