Black People : FISH GENE SHEDS LIGHT ON HUMAN SKIN COLOR VARIATION...

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Isaiah, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ratings:
    +62
    Fish Gene Sheds Light On Human Skin Color Variation
    With help from a common aquarium pet and a recently released online database of human genetic variation, a collaborative team of Penn State researchers has found what could be the most important skin color gene identified to date.

    The team, led by cancer geneticist Keith Cheng, a Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation researcher in the Penn State Cancer Institute at Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, in collaboration with University Park anthropologist Mark Shriver, found that a change in just one amino acid in one gene plays a major role in determining why people of European descent have lighter skin than people of African descent.

    The find could lead to further research using the protein coded by the pigmentation gene as a target for treatment of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, as well as to research on ways to modify skin color without damaging it by tanning or using harsh chemical lighteners.

    The findings will be published as the cover story in the Dec. 16 edition of Science magazine.

    The genetic determination of human skin color is one of biology's enduring mysteries.

    Previous studies on pigmentation have identified more than 100 genes involved in pigment production. Alterations in some of these genes are associated with disorders such as albinism, which causes very light skin, but also vision problems. However, most of the genes responsible for normal differences in skin pigmentation remained unknown. The gene identified by Cheng's team -- called SLC24A5 -- previously had not been suspected to be involved in pigmentation.

    The pigmentation discovery was an unexpected offshoot of cancer research Cheng began a decade ago using zebrafish, a common aquarium pet that is widely used as a model organism for studying the genetics of development. The zebrafish reproduces rapidly, and many of its genes are similar to humans, which makes it a good model for studying genetic alterations and their roles in cancer, Cheng said.

    The similarities between fish and humans extend to the pigment cells, which contain pigment granules called melanosomes. In people of European descent, the melanosomes are fewer, smaller, and lighter than those from people of West African ancestry, while the melanosomes of East Asians show intermediate properties. Cheng's team found that a zebrafish variant called "golden" also had fewer, smaller and less-heavily pigmented melanosomes than normal fish.

    This clue suggested the gene mechanisms responsible for the change in zebrafish also might be involved in variation in human skin color. The researchers found that the lighter pigmentation of golden zebrafish is caused by a mutation that cuts short a certain protein -- referred to as slc24a5. Adding the normal zebrafish protein to the golden version resulted in fish with darker coloring. Victor Canfield, assistant professor of pharmacology in the College of Medicine, found that the closely related genes were present in all vertebrates. The team asked whether the human version of the gene also could work in zebrafish and found that it did.


    CLICK ON WEB ADDRESS FOR MORE!

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051216091727.htm


    PEACE!
    ISAIAH
     
  2. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ratings:
    +62
    All of this researching the reasons for OUR COLOR almost makes one think something catastrophic is headed down the pike... It also reinforces the clear importance of melanin, and it's powerful properties, because why would they be doing so much research on it???

    I think African people need to stop all of our quack theories about Melanin, and ONLY deal with the tried and true PROVEN scientific understanding of it's significance to us... Just a thought...




    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
Loading...