Redheads not wanted, thank you

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Humour, Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In a classic case of supply and demand, not to mention fashion trends and so-called popular opinion, the world’s largest sperm bank is no longer taking donation from redheads.

Red sperm? Nej Tak.

Red sperm? Nej Tak.

Cryos in Denmark has reached its capacity of 70 litres of semen and a waiting list of 600 donors – so it can afford to pick and choose.

Director Ole Schou told Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet: “There are too many redheads in relation to demand.”*

“I do not think you choose a redhead, unless the partner – for example, the sterile male – has red hair, or because the lone woman has a preference for redheads. And that’s perhaps not so many, especially in the latter case.”

He said demand for sperm from redheaded donors came mainly from Ireland, where it sold “like hot cakes”.

*Does this mean a higher proportion of red haired men volunteer to become sperm donors than others? I think the people should be told.

Today’s fun facts:

The pigment pheomelanin gives red hair its distinctive color. Red hair has far more of the pigment pheomelanin than it has of the dark pigment eumelanin.

About 1-2% of the world’s population are “Gingers”. Also, stories that red hair is about to die out are false. Red hair is caused by a relatively rare recessive gene, the expression of which can skip generations. It is not likely to disappear at any time in the foreseeable future

Redheads may have different pain tolerance to non redheads.

Researchers have found that people with red hair require greater amounts of anesthetic. Other research publications have concluded that women with naturally red hair require less of the painkiller pentazocine than do either women of other hair colors or men of any hair color.

A study showed women with red hair had a greater analgesic response to that particular pain medication than men. A follow-up study by the same group showed that men and women with red hair had a greater analgesic response to morphine.

The unexpected relationship of hair color to pain tolerance appears to be because redheads have a mutation in a hormone receptor that can apparently respond to at least two different hormones: the skin pigmentation hormone melanocyte-stimulating hormone, and the pain relieving hormone known as endorphins. (These hormones are both derived from the same precursor molecule, POMC, and are structurally similar.)

Specifically, redheads have a mutated MC1R gene, which produces a mutated MC1R receptor, also known as the melanocortin-1 receptor. Melanocytes, which are cells that produce pigment in skin and hair, use the MC1R receptor to recognize and respond to melanocyte-stimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary gland. Melanocyte-stimulating hormone normally stimulates melanocytes to make black eumelanin, but if the melanocytes have a mutated MC1R receptor, they will make reddish pheomelanin instead.

The MC1R receptor also occurs in the brain, where it is one of a large set of POMC-related receptors that are apparently involved not only in responding to MSH, but also in responses to endorphins and possibly other POMC-derived hormones. Though the details are not clearly understood, it appears that there is some “cross talk” between the POMC hormones that may explain the link between red hair and pain tolerance.

Whether or not any of this is an excuse to bring more freckly, ginger-haired kids into the world is less clear.

Oh come on, I’m KIDDING.

PS Try googling “Ginger Kids” for endless amounts of socially-irresponsible, unworthy and politically-incorrect fun. But you didn’t hear it from me.

(Thanks to Yahoo)

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