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Genes for Skin Color Rebut Dated Notions of Race, Researchers Say

Original story at nytimes.com• 3 mentions • 5 days ago

The widespread distribution of these genes and their persistence over millenniums show that the old color lines are essentially meaningless, the scientists said. The research “dispels a biological concept of race,” Dr. Tishkoff said. Humans develop color much as other mammals do. Special cells in the skin contain pouches, called melanosomes, packed with pigment molecules. The more pigment, the darker the skin. Skin color also varies with the kind of pigments: Melanosomes may contain mixtures of a brown-black called eumelanin and a yellow-red called pheomelanin. To find the genes that help produce pigments, scientists began by studying people of European ...