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:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I ... Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to ... The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care ... disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a ... have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Since its launch in 2012, ... adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical conditions. Now, the ... Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a registered trademark in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software ... software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically ... notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to ... Dignity Health St. Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli ... breast imaging capabilities in San Francisco ... an anonymous friend, stepped forward with a gift of ... for Breast Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015  Array ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public is ... webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual ... , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HOUSTON, TX and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... EPI; NASDAQ: EPIX ) announced today that the ... clinical study of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic ... States and Canada.  --> ... --> In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: