Albinism - Essay

Topics: Albinism, Dominance, Allele Pages: 3 (786 words) Published: February 11, 2012

Background Information

Albinism is a genetic disorder which affects the amount of melanin produced, in a person’s skin, hair, or eyes. Oculocutaneous albinism, Ocular albinism, and Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome are other names for this genetic disorder. The disorder affects mostly men, because it is a recessive gene. Females are usually carriers. Albinism does not affect any specific ethnic or religious group.

Symptoms/ Effects
This Genetic Disorder affects the eyes, skin, or hair’s pigmentation. If an organism has albinism, it has little or no color in a specific part of its body. Albinistic skin burns easily. People with this disorder have to take special precautions to avoid sunburns and diseases such as skin cancer. Most types of Albinism also affect the eyes. Symptoms affecting the eyes include Crossed eyes, Light sensitivity, Rapid eye movements, Vision problems, and functional blindness. Albinistic people may have to limit their outdoor activities to avoid too much exposure to the sun. This disorder itself is not life threatening. However albinism affects many animals’ camouflage, and makes them easy prey. A human’s life span can be shortened by lung disease or bleeding problems from a form of Albinism, Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome.

Testing/ Diagnostics

This disorder can be detected simply by looking for pale or unnatural colored eyes, hair, or skin. To make sure, scientists use genetic tests to affirm that a person has albinism. Ophthalmologists also conduct electroretinograms to detect any optical problems.

Albinism is a recessive gene that can only be inherited. It is not sex-linked.

Albinism cannot be cured, but it a person with albinism can wear colored contacts or sunglasses to comfort and protect their eyes. They can wear sun block and stay indoors to protect their skin.

Name: Vivian Ray (Vivia)

Age: 17

Gender: F

Appearance: There, you see her first thing you notice when you see Vivia,...
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