Today's cartoon by Mac from the Daily Mail relates to news that scientists have discovered the gene responsible for grey hair.
A major breakthrough by British scientists could mean that future generations will no longer suffer the inevitable indignity of the ageing process. Researchers at University College London have discovered the gene responsible for grey hair and are confident that it will be possible to create drugs or cosmetics to switch it off. Grey hair is caused by the depletion of melanin, which is responsible for the pigment in hair, skin and eyes, making blondes lighter and brunettes darker. Although fashion’s vanguard have popularised the shade in recent years, going grey is still viewed as an alarming sign of ageing, and Britons spend £3 million a year on over-the-counter hair dyes. Read more >>
The scene takes place in a lab at the Hair Gene Research Unit of University College, London. A woman, who is covered from head to toe in dark hair, is looking at herself in a mirror being held up by one of the group of scientists. The scientists all look very pleased. They are smiling and one of them is even clapping. The woman is holding a test tube in her hand, and looks startled. The scientist holding the mirror tells her, "Okay. There are side effects. But look, darling - not one grey hair!"
We can deduce that the woman is the scientist's wife because he calls her 'darling'. We are also meant to assume that she has been used as a 'guinea pig' for the hair experiment. The good news is that she no longer has grey hair. The bad news is she now looks like Bigfoot!
1. Grey is spelt 'gray' in American English.
2. The word 'hair' can be countable or uncountable.
• The woman is covered in dark hair (uncountable - the hair is seen as a mass).
• She doesn't have one grey hair (countable - it refers to an individual hair).
See here for more examples.
Never mind the grey hair, when will they discover the gene that causes men to go bald!