Albinism Essay

Topics: Albinism, Melanin, Human skin color Pages: 2 (664 words) Published: October 18, 2010
The complication of human genetic codes augmented the possibilities of mutations or absence of genes to occur. In all the physical abnormal conditions caused by genetic maladies, the malfunction of pigment production resulted in insufficient melanin numbers during fetus stage is known as Albinism. One out of seventy (1/70) people carries an albinism gene, and one out of four (1/4) of their offspring will be born with albinism. This genetic disorder can present in any newborns regardless to their gender or ethnic background, in despite of unusual skin/hair/eye color, albino people do have normal life span only with a slightly higher chance of skin cancer, which fortunately is curable; development delay is not expected with the condition, as many had pursued wide range of successful careers.

Children born with albinism can be easily identified by their lightened skin/hair/eye color into two types of albino classifications: oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) and ocular albinism (OA). In the more common one, OCA, pigments are missing from the skin, hair, and eyes; OA occurs mainly in the eye, with normal hair and skin color. Affiliated genes are inherited from the parents; carriers would have normal appearance and no family history because it is an autosomal recessive inheritance. Children will only be born with albinism if they received an albinism gene from both parent; heterogenous and dominant homogenous carriers have one normal gene with one altered gene or two normal genes can still obtain enough DNA information to produce pigments. Pigments called melanin exist in human body to provide protections against UV ray, when exposed to sun shine, normal skin with enough amounts of pigments have a certain level resistance to the damaging UV ray, tanning means more pigments are produced for greater protection. The skin of albino organisms is much more sensitive to exposure of sunlight, without the pigments it has little to none protection against UV ray; because of...
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