Pigmentation

Gene Expression

Tag archives for Pigmentation

Over the history of this weblog I have blogged about pigmentation a fair amount. The major reason is that that’s where the money is; unlike height, let alone intelligence, the genetic architecture and evolutionary history of pigmentation has been elucidated with relative clarity. That is, we know roughly the number and nature of the genes…

In the aughts the elucidation of human pigmentation genetics was of one the major successes of ‘omic’ techniques. The fact that humans exhibit some continuous variation in complexion was strongly suggestive that more than one gene was at work to generate the range of the phenotype. On the other hand pedigree based studies going back…

Skin color is not race

One of the peculiarities of American discussion about race is that skin color is assumed to be synonymous with racial distinctions. That is, skin color is not just a trait, but it is the trait which defines between population differences. There’s a reason for this, the skin is the largest organ and it is very…

Folate & fertility & skin color

On the order of ~1 million years ago humans seem to have evolved dark skin. While light skin evolved several times, it looks like dark skin exhibits an “consensus sequence,” so that all dark skinned peoples seem to have the same genetic architecture. This chart (from Signatures of Positive Selection in Genes Associated with Human…

What domestication changes

Over at Gene Expression Classic p-ter points to an interesting paper, Genetic Architecture of Tameness in a Rat Model of Animal Domestication: A common feature of domestic animals is tameness – i.e. they tolerate and are unafraid of human presence and handling. To gain insight into the genetic basis of tameness and aggression, we studied…

Genetics of human pigmentation

Richard Sturm in Human Molecular Genetics has a really good review of the current state of pigmentation genetics, with a human centric focus: The genetic basis underlying normal variation in the pigmentary traits of skin, hair and eye colour has been the subject of intense research directed at understanding the diversity seen both between and…