Monday, November 4, 2013

Evolutionary Medicine: Skin Depigmentation

The MC1R gene is expressed in follicles and skin. In this study, the researchers found that the MC1R gene is more diverse in Eurasian populations compared to African populations. This news article states that selection for the MC1R locus is strong in southern Europeans, but weak in Northern Europeans. Specifically, the researchers found an allele termed V60L that is mostly present in Europe and the Near East. From the results of the study, the researchers posit that fair skin depigmentation can potentially be a beneficial adaptation for humans living in this new environment.

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