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Zebrafish Journal Publishes Skin Pigmentation Studies That Shed Light on the Evolution of Race
Date:1/14/2009

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A special series of papers in the peer-reviewed journal Zebrafish provides a comprehensive look at future directions of research on pigment biology. Model organisms such as zebrafish advance the scientific understanding of the genetic basis of human skin color and race. The papers, which include historical findings and perspectives, are published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., and are available online at www.liebertpub.com/zeb

"With the election of the first African-American president of the United States, our society has taken a landmark step towards deracializing human conduct," says Stephen C. Ekker, PhD, Rochester, MN, Editor-in-Chief of Zebrafish. "As scientists, we contribute to this work by sharing genetic insights to demystify skin color and race."

Guest Editors Keith C. Cheng, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, Penn State College of Medicine, and David M. Parichy, PhD, Department of Biology, University of Washington, have compiled an intriguing collection of original scientific papers and historical perspectives on the study of pigmentation in zebrafish, a vertebrate that shares genetic mechanisms of skin color with humans. The Special Focus on Pigmentation Biology includes a Roundtable Discussion entitled, "Research Implications of Pigment Biology in Zebrafish," by Cheng, Parichy, and Ekker.

Keith Cheng explains that zebrafish "have outstanding potential as an educational tool--to 'demystify' race, to increase public understanding of the role of model systems and evolution in science, and to enhance appreciation of both genetic and environmental factors that impact human health and society." Fish research has already played an important part in the discovery of genetic changes that make the larges
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SOURCE Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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