Wednesday, October 18, 2017
News

Genes behind evolution of human skin colour identified

   SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend    Print this Page   COMMENT

New York | Friday, 2017 7:45:04 PM IST
 
Scientists have identified new genetic variants that sheds light on genetics of skin colour, human evolution as well as explains the risk factors for skin cancer.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found mutations associated with both light and dark pigmentation in diverse African populations that originated more than 300,000 years ago, and some emerged roughly one million years ago, well before the emergence of modern humans.

"We have identified new genetic variants that contribute to the genetic basis of one of the most strikingly variable traits in modern humans," said Sarah Tishkoff, Professor at the varsity.

"When people think of skin colour in Africa most would think of darker skin, but we show that within Africa there is a huge amount of variation, ranging from skin as light as some Asians to the darkest skin on a global level and everything in between," Tishkoff added.

The findings, published in the journal Science, could also help to explain why some people are more prone to skin cancer, and could even be used to develop new treatments for the disease.

Both light and dark skin pigmentations confer benefits: Darker skin, for example, is believed to help prevent some of the negative impacts of ultraviolet light exposure, while lighter skin is better able to promote synthesis of vitamin D in regions with low ultraviolet light exposure, the researchers said.

"Skin colour is a classic variable trait in humans, and it's thought to be adaptive," Tishkoff said.

"Analysis of the genetic basis of variation in skin colour sheds light on how adaptive traits evolve, including those that play a role in disease risk," Tishkoff noted.

For the study, the team used a colour meter to measure the light reflectance of the skin of more than 2,000 Africans people in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana.

They then genotyped 1,570 of those individuals for more than four million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome.

The researchers found four key areas of the genome where genetic variation closely correlated with skin colour differences.

Within these regions, the researchers focussed on six genes linked to pigmentation: SLC24A5, MFSD12, DDB1, TMEM138, OCA2, and HERC2.

--IANS rt/rn

( 370 Words)

2017-10-13-19:18:09 (IANS)

Watch News Videos

 
  LATEST COMMENTS (0)
POST YOUR COMMENT
Comments Not Available
 
POST YOUR COMMENT
 
TRENDING TOPICS
 
 
 
CITY NEWS
MORE CITIES
 
MORE HEALTH NEWS
New drug discovered to treat bowel cance...
Scientists reveal how bacteria develop a...
This pill may treat diabetes; help patie...
High BP ups risk of heart valve disorder...
Stay healthy this festive season...
Here's how you can have a safe and healt...
More...
 
INDIA WORLD ASIA
Maha Transport Strike: Staff demands imp...
Hyderabad: A self styled god man held fo...
'Guilty must be brought to book': Rahul ...
Adityanath more concerned on celebrating...
Illegal sex-determination: BJP MLAs accu...
Pebble launches 'Dazzle' Bluetooth speak...
More...    
 
 Top Stories
Stock markets to hold Muhurat tradi... 
Previously pregnant donor may up de... 
This sensor 'skin' can help robots ... 
UltraTech Cement's consolidated Q2 ... 
Yuvraj named in domestic violence c... 
Myanmar forces terrorised Rohingyas... 
Deepika draws Irani's attention to ... 
Diwali gift for soldiers: Governmen...