Say what you will of our red-headed freak sisters and brothers (I'm looking right at you, Mat Marshall), but the ones I know are among the smartest people I know.
That said, did we really need DNA to "reveal" this?
Neanderthals’ pigmentation possibly as varied as humans’, scientists say
By Steve Bradt - FAS CommunicationsAncient DNA retrieved from the bones of two Neanderthals suggests that at least some of them had red hair and pale skin, scientists report this week in the journal Science. The international team says that Neanderthals’ pigmentation may even have been as varied as that of modern humans, and that at least 1 percent of Neanderthals were likely redheads.
The scientists — led by Holger Römpler of Harvard University and the University of Leipzig, Carles Lalueza-Fox of the University of Barcelona, and Michael Hofreiter of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig — extracted, amplified, and sequenced a pigmentation gene called MC1R from the bones of a 43,000-year-old Neanderthal from El Sidrón, Spain, and a 50,000-year-old individual from Monti Lessini, Italy.