Monday, November 11, 2013

How A Gene For Fair Skin Spread Across India

This article discusses a recent paper examining genes for skin color in India.  Before this study, work on skin color genes had not included large samples from South Asia, but instead had focused on Europe and East Asia.  The team found that the gene that is mostly responsible for light skin color in Indian populations is SLC24A5, the gene that also causes fair coloring in European populations as well.  This is in contrast to a set of genes that are responsible for skin pigmentation in East Asia.  The researchers also found that while normally the distribution of light skin color alleles aries latitudinally in areas, for example in Europe its spread seems to be entirely determined by evolution, in India the pattern is much more closely linked to population movements and history.

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