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Identifying genetic culprits

People with red hair are more prone to sunburn. This is because most redheads also inherit pale skin. But they have a high risk of burning because of their pale skin, rather than their red hair. Scientists looking for genes involved in common illnesses face a similar problem: they have to pick out real culprits from the innocent bystanders. They also have to work out the interaction of genes with other influences, such as diet.

People with red hair are more prone to sunburn.
People with red hair are more prone to sunburn.
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