Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Genetics of Skin Color Are a Lot More Complicated Than Anyone Expected

New research suggests that genetic coding behind skin pigmentation has gotten more complicated than it was before. It involves a varying number of known and unknown genes surprisingly from where you are  from in the world. In the article it states that with earlier studies on the topic researchers have focused 400 individuals approximately  from the Khoisan population of southern African  find out that their skin is much lighter compared the Africans all around. It is shown that skin pigmentation is 100 percent heritable but the  genetics involved get more complicated the further you go toward the equator. One researcher says that Africa has the greatest amount of phenotypic variability in color yet is underrepresent in large scale endeavors. There some genes are known to contribute  to skin pigments but there are many more genes that have not discovered yet to be proven if they are linked to pigmentation or not. Skin color is generally considered to be a product of directional selection which  means in the maters of population genetic in the mode of natural selection the extreme phenotype that is favored. Depending on the latitude the more or less pigmentation. The gene variants shift in one direction of higher latitude of having  light skin and lower and having darker skin.Comparing the genomes of the Khoesan people it shows stabilizing selection which means more genes have had influence over the pigmentation of skin and only 10% percent of these genes have been linked to change the skin color. The skin pigmentation in Africans turns out to be more than polygenic. Researchers have found that one of genes is SMARCA2/VLDR which is the first time it been linked the pigmentation in humans and it plays and role in the Khoesan people. Another gene found was the SLC24A5 which was found in a much higher frequency in the Khoesan people than In Europeans. I found this article to be very interesting because I would not have thought skin pigmentation had anything to do with how it is represented diverse population worldwide based on latitude it may sound obvious but it comes to my knowledge that some genes are much more frequent than others

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