Studies of a skin color gene across global populations reveal shared origins | Penn State University

English: Skin color distribution around the wo...

English: Skin color distribution around the world, data for native populations collected by R. Biasutti prior to 1940 Italiano: Distribuzione del colore della pelle di tutto il mondo, i dati raccolti per le popolazioni native di R. Biasutti prima del 1940 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All instances of a gene mutation that contributes to light skin color in Europeans came from the same chromosome of one person who most likely lived at least 10,000 years ago, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

via Studies of a skin color gene across global populations reveal shared origins | Penn State University.

An interesting article on how the genes for light skin tone may have originated.

All the different skin colors are relatively recent developments.  Anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa 200,000 or more years ago, where we were all black.  60,000-90,000 years ago, a small population migrated out of Africa, whose descendants went on the settle the rest of the world.

Your skin tone is most likely a factor of where your ancestors lived over the last 10,000-90,000 years.  Lighter skin tone in higher latitudes and darker in lower latitudes.

Lower latitudes get hit with more direct sunlight, and darker skin is better at protecting against skin cancer, but not as good at vitamin D production.  Higher latitudes get less direct sunlight, and lighter skin is better at vitamin D production.

At least that’s the prevailing theory as I understand it.  I suspect how much of your body is covered in those latitudes, due to variations in temperature, is a factor as well.

But northern European skin is particularly light and susceptible to skin cancer.  I find the idea that it arose from a single person as little as 10,000 years ago fascinating.

This entry was posted in Zeitgeist and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s