Navigation Links
Fish Give Clues to Human Skin Color Changes

A common gene helps species adapt to new environments, scientists say

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Research in the tiny stickleback fish could shed light on skin color changes in humans.

A team at Stanford University School of Medicine has spotted a gene that's responsible for color differences in both species.

While it may seem that the small fish and humans have little in common, they share many similarities, noted study senior author David Kingsley, professor of developmental biology. Both the sticklebacks and humans migrated out of ancestral environments to new locations a few thousand generations ago and both developed new traits -- such as skin color changes -- to be able to live in those new settings.

Kingsley and his colleagues compared DNA from lighter and darker sticklebacks and found that the lighter fish had mutations in a gene called Kit ligand. The researchers then analyzed DNA from people with different skin colors and found that those with lighter skin also had an altered form of the Kit ligand gene.

"It is the same genetic mechanism between organisms that are very different from each other," Kingsley said in a prepared statement.

The Kit ligand gene makes a protein that plays a role in maintaining the melanocyte skin cells that control pigmentation.

While this gene isn't the only factor that determines skin color, it does seem to account for about 20 percent of the pigmentation differences between people of African and European descent, Kingsley said.

The study is published in the Dec. 14 issue of the journal Cell.

More information

The PBS Web site has an article about differences in human skin color.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Stanford University, news release, Dec. 13, 2007

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
2. Online Epidemic Gives Clues to Bird Flu Spread
3. New knock-out gene model provides molecular clues to breast cancer
4. New clues to breast cancer development in high-risk women
5. Clues to Cell Death Could Fight Disease
6. Genes Give Clues to Newborn Lung Disease
7. Mouse Study Gives Clues to Colitis
8. VivoMetrics LifeShirt Going to South Pole to Uncover Clues to High-Altitude Illness
9. Protein Gives Clues to Pancreatic Cancer
10. A longer-living, healthier mouse that could hold clues to human aging
11. Clues to ensuring anti-HIV drugs are taken in Africa
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class ... (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the change ... version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, ... Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in the imaging field lead ... Aureus Medical Group . These fields, as well as travel nursing, ... healthcare jobs through the company’s website, , The leading healthcare staffing ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final Cut ... Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, with ... users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all within ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast ... found on mammography, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology. ... on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market ... User (Hospital, Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Brain Monitoring ... offering. --> ) has ... Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced ... the United States (U.S.) Food ... candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen believes this ... the FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA submission using ... , M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: